Accessibility links

UK's Brown Blames Pakistani Militants For Mumbai

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown blamed the banned Pakistan-based militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba for the Mumbai attacks and said on December 14 he would convey India's concerns to the Pakistani president.

Brown met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a flying visit to New Delhi, amid heightened tensions between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan after Islamist gunmen killed 179 people in India's financial hub in November.

India has accused Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a militant group it says was set up by Pakistan to fight Indian rule in Kashmir, of involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan has rounded up some of the 40 people India has demanded should be extradited for the Mumbai killings, but says that India has not provided any evidence of links to the attacks.

"The group responsible for the attacks is LeT and they have a great deal to answer for, and I hope to convey some of the views of the Indian prime minister to the president of Pakistan when I meet him," Brown told reporters in India's capital.

Lashkar has denied being behind the three-day rampage at some of Mumbai's most famous landmarks, and said it condemned them.

Brown criticised the "perverse and unacceptable messages sent out by extreme terrorist groups that are perversions of very good religions and faiths," adding Britain will give "every help" to India to tackle militancy.

Following the Mumbai attacks, India, backed by the United States, has called on Pakistan to crack down on Pakistan-based militant groups.

"It's important to recognise that wherever there is terrorism it has to be fought, and where there is terrorism it affects the stability and cohesion of countries," Brown said.

Brown was in Kabul on December 13 for talks with the Afghan President Hamid Karzi after visiting British troops, and is flying to Pakistan to meet President Asif Ali Zardari later on December 14.

Pakistan said on December 13 that Indian warplanes had violated its airspace but said this was "inadvertent" and there was no cause for alarm about an escalation of tension.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars and went to the brink of a fourth in 2002 following an attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001 that New Delhi blamed on militants based in Pakistan.