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Page last updated at 21:05 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 22:05 UK

India puts Pakistan talks on hold

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (L) shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
The two leaders said terrorism was their common threat

India will not start peace talks with Pakistan until the Mumbai attacks suspects are brought to justice, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said.

Mr Singh was speaking after meeting his Pakistani counterpart in Egypt.

A joint statement said the two countries would co-operate to fight terrorism - and this should not be linked to wider peace talks.

The talks were suspended after the Mumbai (Bombay) attacks in which militants killed more than 160 people.

India says the gunmen were from Pakistan and has accused the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba of being behind the attacks.

Pakistan has admitted they were partly planned on its soil - and vowed to do all it can to bring the suspects to justice.

Pakistan 'happy'

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Mr Singh met in Egypt, on the sidelines of a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.

It was third high-level meeting between the two nuclear-armed neighbours since the Mumbai attacks last November, which brought an abrupt halt to peace talks.

Both leaders agreed that terrorism is the main threat to both countries
Joint statement

"Both leaders affirmed their resolve to fight terrorism and co-operate with each other to this end," the joint statement from the talks said.

"Pakistan has provided an updated status dossier on the investigations of the Mumbai attacks," the statement said.

The two leaders also agreed to "share real-time, credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threat".

Last week Pakistan said the trial of five men suspected of involvement in the attack on Mumbai's Taj Hotel was likely to start this week.

The prime ministers' joint statement said action on terrorism "should not be linked to the composite dialogue process" - which includes talks on the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Taj Mahal hotel under attack in November
The Mumbai attacks led to a freeze in ties between the two countries

The BBC's Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says many in India were likely to see this as a major climb-down in Delhi's stance.

But later, Mr Singh told a news conference: "Composite dialogue cannot begin unless and until terrorist heads which shook Mumbai are properly accounted for, [and] perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to book."

Mr Gilani told the BBC he was confident things were moving in the right direction - and he was happy that the Pakistanis had supplied new intelligence of interest to the Indians.



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