NEW DELHI, Dec 2: India’s foreign minister said on Tuesday military action was not being considered but warned the peace process between Pakistan and India was at risk if Pakistan did not act decisively.
Indian accusations that Pakistan let militants stage attacks from its soil have stirred longstanding tensions and threatened to reverse improving ties between the two countries.
India renewed its old demand for about 20 fugitives it believes are hiding in Pakistan, via a protest note given to Pakistan’s High Commissioner Shahid Malik in New Delhi on Monday, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters.
Officials said the Indian list included names of Dawood Ibrahim and Maulana Masood Azhar.
While India was not considering any military response, it reserved the right to take measures to protect its territorial integrity, he told India’s NDTV.
“We have no intention of not carrying out the peace process,” Mukherjee told NDTV. “If these incidents... are not adequately addressed by the other side, it becomes difficult to carry out business as usual and that includes the peace process.”
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is due in India on Wednesday to try to lower tensions after the attacks in Mumbai, which could threaten a US-led effort to battle militants along Pakistan’s Afghan border.
Mumbai’s police chief Hasan Ghafoor on Tuesday said the attackers had trained for a year or more in commando tactics. “There have been no arrests so far except the one terrorist we have detained. We are interrogating many suspects,” Ghafoor told a news conference, the first since the attacks.
Investigators have alleged a former Pakistani army officer led the training, organised by the Pakistani Lashkar-i-Taiba group.
Analysts say Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, facing an election by May, must walk a delicate line not to upset regional stability while acting forcefully enough to counter opposition accusations that Congress is weak on security.
Many Indians have expressed anger at apparent intelligence lapses and a slow security reaction to the attacks against Mumbai’s two best-known luxury hotels and other landmarks in the city of 18 million.—Reuters