ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday offered to assist India in investigations into the Mumbai triple bombing that left 19 dead.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik, during a telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart P Chidambaram, expressed the confidence that the culprits would be unmasked and brought to book.
He hoped that cooperation and good neighbourly relations between the two governments and the nations would continue in future due to the earnest desire and endeavours of the leadership of the two countries.
He offered his heartfelt condolences on the loss of lives in the recent Mumbai blast and expressed his sympathies to the Government of India and bereaved families of the victims of tragedy.
Three bomb blasts rocked the financial capital of India in the biggest terror incident since the 26/11 incident in 2008 that had brought tension in Pak-India relations and stalled composite dialogue process between the two South Asian nuclear powers.
The 26/11 attacks had been blamed on Pakistan even before the start of investigations, but this time sanity appears to have prevailed with the clear indications that the upcoming foreign secretary level talks between the two countries were on track.
Meanwhile, Indian detectives “have good leads” on the three blasts which rocked the country's financial hub, a top official said on Saturday, as the death toll from the coordinated explosions rose to 19, adds AFP.
Two men who were seriously injured in Wednesday's rush-hour bombings died in hospital, a home ministry statement said.
Twenty people remained in a serious condition in hospital as a result of the blasts in which a total of over 130 were hurt, the ministry said.
The rise in the death toll came as Mumbai residents held candle-lit vigils to mourn the victims of the blasts, the deadliest attacks in the city since the 2008 siege by Islamist militants in which 166 people died.
There have been no claims of responsibility for the latest attacks in Mumbai, located in the western state of Maharashtra, but police say their investigation is making headway.
“I can very confidently say that we have got good leads,” Rakesh Maria, head of the Maharashtra state anti-terrorism squad, said at a news conference in the city.
“We have a reasonable assumption as to what happened at the three locations.”Investigators have been scrambling for a breakthrough in the case, amid fears torrential downpours that have hit Mumbai since the explosions may have washed away vital clues.
Police have been questioning two suspected members of the Indian Mujahideen, a domestic Islamist group with links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant outfit blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Home Secretary R.K. Singh told reporters in New Delhi that “people are being questioned based on our previous databases and previous known linkages”to help find those responsible for the blasts.
Teams of detectives were also scouring hours of grainy security camera footage taken from the bomb sites in south and south central Mumbai to try to assemble a full picture of what happened.
“We are taking the help of technical experts to improve the quality of the (grainy) image and I think in 24 to 48 hours we should able to get a better image,” Maharashtra state’s anti-terrorism squad chief told reporters.
He said that authorities also expected to produce a sketch of a suspect soon.
Police examination of debris has already indicated that the bombs, hidden in the crowded streets, used ammonium nitrate, a fertiliser ingredient commonly used in improvised explosive devices.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Kolkata that militants were mistaken if they thought that they would be able to destabilise India through “terrorist acts”.
“If the terrorists feel that they will be able to destabilise India, then they are utterly mistaken and we will be able to overcome the challenge,” he told reporters, according to the Press Trust of India.
“Incidents of such a nature will only strengthen our resolve to fight terrorism,” he said.
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