Source Pravda.Ru

Indian PM says Pakistani-based Islamic groups involved in Saturday's bombing

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Pakistan's president on Monday that there were indications of a foreign link to the bombings that tore through two New Delhi markets, and reminded the Pakistani leader of his country's promise to fight terrorism, an official said.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf called Singh to express his condolences, and Singh told him that the investigation into the Saturday's bombing, which killed 59 people, indicated "external linkages of terrorist groups" with the attacks, said Sanjaya Baru, a spokesman for the Indian leader.

While Indian officials had until this point been hesitant to publicly assign blame for the bombings, Indian analysts and newspapers have pointed the finger at Pakistani-based Islamic groups fighting to force India to give up its claim to divided Kashmir.

Baru refused to provide any further details about the supposed foreign links to the attacks, but a little-known Kashmiri group, Islamic Inquilab Mahaz, took credit Sunday for the attack.

During Monday's call, Singh "drew (Musharraf's) attention to Pakistan's commitment to ending cross-border terrorism, and said that he continued to be disturbed and dismayed at indications of external linkages of terrorist groups with the Oct. 29 bombing," said Baru.

The attacks came at a particularly sensitive moment as India and Pakistan hashed out an unprecedented agreement to partially open the heavily militarized frontier that divides the disputed territory of Kashmir to speed relief to victims of the region's Oct. 8 earthquake. The border deal was finalized early Sunday.

Accusations of Pakistani involvement in a 2001 attack on parliament put the nuclear-armed rivals on the brink of war. But they pulled back and both sides now appear intent on maintaining the momentum toward peace despite the latest attacks, the AP says.

Pakistan's government was quick to condemn the bombings, and Musharraf on Monday called the bombings in New Delhi "a dastardly terrorist attack."

He told reporters his country would fully cooperate in any investigation, and said: "Pakistan stands with India on this act of terrorism which has been perpetrated in New Delhi."

Musharraf's remarks seemed intended to encouraged further momentum toward better bilateral relations between the rivals, who have fought three wars, in the wake of the massive quake, which killed an estimated 80,000 people in Kashmir, a Himalayan region split between India and Pakistan.