India PM: Pakistan must help to resolve issues

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India wants to resolve differences with Pakistan but Islamabad must help by clamping down on militants such as those who attacked Mumbai last year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

“We will do all that is necessary to resolve all outstanding issues that have bedeviled India’s relations with Pakistan,” Singh said.

“But it requires credible action on the part of Pakistan to deal with terrorist elements directing their energy to disrupt and destabilize our economy and polity,” he added in remarks made en route from Italy after the G8 summit.

A transcript of Singh’s comments was posted on the website of the ministry of external affairs on Saturday and came before a meeting Singh is scheduled to have next week with Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt, on the sidelines of a Non-Aligned Movement summit.

India says the assault on Mumbai, in which 166 people were killed, was carried out by members of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group who must have had backing from some official Pakistani agencies.

India has demanded Pakistan bring to book members of the group that it blames for the Mumbai attacks, and that it dismantle the infrastructure that supports groups like the LeT and the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD).

“If they do that, we are willing to walk more than half the distance to normalize our relations,” Singh was cited as saying.

While Pakistani investigators have acknowledged that the coordinated attacks were launched and partly planned from its soil, and that the sole surviving attacker was Pakistani, it has denied involvement of any official agency into the attack.

Pakistan, which is keen to resume peace talks, has vowed to take action against militants found guilty of involvement in the Mumbai attacks, and has made some arrests, but India has expressed frustration at the slow pace of progress.

Singh said he had appealed to leaders at the G8 and G5 summits to exert pressure on Pakistan on this matter.

The United States is keenly interested in resumption of talks between the two countries to ease tensions on Pakistan’s eastern border with India, so it can focus on fighting Taliban militants on its western border with Afghanistan.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to visit India later this month.

(Reporting by Rina Chandran; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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