Mumbai attack legacy hangs over India-Pakistan talks: officials

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 05, 2012 6:20 AM
Mumbai attack legacy hangs over India-Pakistan talks: officials

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Rivals India and Pakistan agreed on Thursday to press on with talks aimed at normalizing relations, seeking to repair ties shattered by a militant rampage in Mumbai four years ago that New Delhi says were orchestrated from Pakistan.

Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani however said differences remain over the attack investigation after two days of talks in New Delhi. The talks were held within days of the capture of a man accused by Indian police as a key plotter of an assault that killed 166 people.

India had suspended most ties with Pakistan after the attacks, but has moved to restore trade and other links in the past year while pressing Pakistan to track down members of the suspected organizer, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group based in Pakistan.

Mathai described the talks as "purposeful and forward-looking" while adding that Pakistan could do more on the investigation of the attacks.

"Bringing to justice those guilty of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, will be the biggest confidence-building measure," Mathai told a media conference at the end of the talks on Thursday.

Jilani repeated an offer to jointly investigate the attacks, but also rejected repeated accusations by Indian officials that Pakistan's security agencies were involved.

India has specifically called for Pakistan to handover LeT founder Hazif Saeed, whom it considers the attack mastermind, and who the United States has announced a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

Pakistan has so far rejected the call.

(Reporting By Satarupa Bhattacharjya; Editing by Ed Lane)