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Spare us, militants may have done it, says Zardari

Source: PTI
December 01, 2008 13:16 IST
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Warning that militants have the power to precipitate a war in the region, President Asif Ali Zardari has asked India to "resist striking out at his government" should investigations show that "Pakistani militant groups" were responsible for the attacks in Mumbai.

The Pakistani President said his country should not be punished for the three-day terrorist rampage in Mumbai that killed around 200 people including foreigners.

Zardari asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "resist striking out at his (Pakistan's) government should investigations show that Pakistani militant groups were responsible for the attacks", the Financial Times reported.

The President warned that provocation by rogue "non-state actors" posed the danger of a return to war between the nuclear armed neighbours.

"Even if the militants are linked to Lashker-e-Taiba, who do you think we are fighting?" Zardari told the daily, referring to Pakistan's operations against al-Qaeda and Taliban on the border with Afghanistan.

"We live in troubled times where non-state actors have taken us to war before, whether it is the case of those who perpetrated (the) 9/11 (attacks on the US) or contributed to the escalation of the situation in Iraq," Zardari said.

"Now, events in Mumbai tell us that there are ongoing efforts to carry out copycat attacks by militants. We must all stand together to fight out this menace."

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