Sun, Oct 01, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Indian police blame Pakistan spy agency for blasts

AP , ISLAMABAD

Pakistan yesterday rejected an Indian claim that Pakistan's spy agency masterminded the July 11 Mumbai train bombings that killed more than 200 people.

"We reject this allegation, and demand that India should provide us any evidence, if they have [it]," said Tariq Azim, the minister of state for information.

The Pakistani reaction came after Mumbai police Commissioner A.N. Roy said the attacks had been masterminded by Pakistan's spy agency and carried out by a Pakistan-based Islamic militant group, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, assisted by the Students Islamic Movement of India, a banned Islamic group.

Roy spoke to reporters at the conclusion of a police investigation into the bombings, which ripped apart packed commuter trains in Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment hub.

Azim denied that Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence, had any role in the attacks.

Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations and Azim said it was not the first time that New Delhi had blamed Pakistan for attacks in India.

"Whenever some bad thing happens in India, they start blaming us for it," he said.

He called the latest accusations "sad and unfortunate."

"Such allegations only give benefit to the real culprits, who escape arrest," he said.

The accusation came just weeks after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to push forward with a peace process suspended since the bombing.

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