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Pakistan offers help to India in Mumbai terror probe


New Delhi/Islamabad : Condemning the terror strikes in Mumbai that killed over 125 people, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Friday underlined that terrorism is “a global phenomenon” that requires joint action and offered assistance to India in investigating the incident.

“The people of Pakistan join you in mourning the loss of so many precious lives,” Zardari said in a letter to President Pratibha Patil.

“We offer our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family members of all those who have lost their lives or have been injured in these incidents,” he added.

Zardari also telephoned Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and condemned the attacks in the strongest possible terms, Pakistan’s Online news agency reported.

The Pakistani president said that militancy in all its forms and manifestations had to be eliminated, adding that the two countries must cooperate with one another.

“Such acts of violence and terrorism are totally unacceptable in any civilised society,” Gilani said in a separate letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“The government and people of Pakistan unequivocally and strongly condemn these heinous acts of terrorism,” he added.

The terror strikes on 10 landmarks of India’s financial capital Mumbai Wednesday night killed over 125 people, including some foreigners, and left over 327 injured.

In Islamabad, Zardari told Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui and French ambassador Daniel Jouanneau that terrorism was a “global phenomenon” and underscored the need of joint efforts to overcome challenges.

Condemning the terror attacks on Mumbai, Zardari told the envoys that these strikes showed that not just Pakistan, but the whole world, was facing the menace of terrorism.

He underlined the need for tackling terrorism on the political, economic and military fronts simultaneously to being bring peace and stability to the region. The president offered assistance and complete support to India in investigation, the Online agency reported.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is currently in India, has suggested that the two countries set up a hotline between their intelligence chiefs to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation. India is yet to respond to the suggestion.

In his address to the nation Thursday, Manmohan Singh said the terrorists who attacked Mumbai were “based outside the country” and warned that India will no more allow terrorists to stage attacks with impunity.

However, Qureshi warned against “making insinuations against each other” in case of terror attacks and underlined the need for a cautious approach towards tackling the common scourge.

“It’s a very sad incident but let’s not jump to conclusions and cut a sorry figure. Let’s show maturity. We will cooperate, I can assure you,” he said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Friday alleged that Pakistan has violated the UN code on the use of land and sea routes for launch of terror strikes against India.

“This is for the first time Pakistan has allowed the use of sea routes to further terrorism against India,” Modi said at the Oberoi Trident hotel in Mumbai, where efforts are on to flush out holed up militants.

Modi claimed that the terrorists had used boats seized from Indian fishermen by Pakistani Marine Police to launch the attacks and hoped that the Indian government would raise the issue at appropriate levels diplomatically.