Reuters Posted online: Friday, July 14, 2006 at 1708 hours IST Updated: Friday, July 14, 2006 at 1802 hours IST
Mumbai, July 14: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused Pakistan on Friday of breaking its word by continuing to harbour terrorists, as he met victims of the Mumbai blasts and promised to help them rebuild their lives.
The Prime Minister, who had tears in his eyes when he met victims whose arms and legs had been amputated, said a peace process with Pakistan was threatened if Islamabad did not curb 'terrorist' violence directed at India.
"We are also certain that these terrorist modules are instigated, inspired and supported by elements across the border without which they cannot act with such devastating effect. Pakistan in 2004 had solemnly given an assurance that Pakistani territory will not be used to promote, encourage, train and abet terrorist elements directed against India. That assurance has to be fulfilled before the peace process or other processes can make progress," Singh said.
Singh's comments came at the end of a brief visit to Mumbai, which was hit by a wave of bomb blasts this week in which 179 people were killed and hundreds more wounded.
Although there has been no breakthrough in investigations into the attack, Indian officials have said that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency are the prime suspects.
PAKISTAN INTELLIGENCE ACCUSED
Islamabad has denied any involvement in the serial bombings and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf offered on Thursday to help India investigate the attacks.
But Indian officials said investigations suggested a Pakistani intelligence hand in the bombings.
"Activists of SIMI have probably facilitated this but the planning was ISI," a senior Home Ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said in New Delhi.
He was referring to the Students Islamic Movement of India and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency of Pakistan.
National Security Advisor M K Narayanan also told a Cabinet meeting on Thursday that investigations suggested a Pakistani intelligence hand in the bombings, the official said.
Investigators have made sketches of three other suspects seen at sites of the attacks, which hit crowded railway carriages and stations in the nation's financial hub during evening rush-hour.
Islamabad challenged New Delhi to come up with evidence that the ISI was involved in the blasts..
"In the past two days, India has not given us anything in writing or talked of any evidence. The accusation that the ISI masterminded the attack is baseless," Tasnim Aslam, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokeswoman, said on Friday.
Mumbai police stepped up security in the city as Prime Minister Singh visited two hospitals to meet some of the victims of the bombings.
Singh talked to patients, their relatives and doctors in several trauma and intensive care wards of the hospitals and consoled the wounded. Some said they were overwhelmed to meet him.
"He told me 'Get well soon, God bless you'. I congratulated him for economic reforms in India," said Tejas Pathak, a 29-year-old stock broker who was badly wounded in the head and face.
Indian analysts are calling for New Delhi to re-think its relations with Musharraf, arguing he may have lost his ability to control terrorists in Pakistan.
"If Musharraf is not willing, or is unable to deliver an end to cross-border terrorism, the government could conclude that it is no longer possible to do business with him," Foreign policy commentator C Raja Mohan wrote in The Indian Express.