December 3, 2008 / 3:23 AM / 10 years ago

Pakistan not to blame for Mumbai attacks: Zardari

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said on Tuesday his government was not responsible for last week’s attacks on Mumbai and said he doubted India’s claim the lone surviving gunman was a Pakistani.

“The state of Pakistan is no way responsible,” Zardari told CNN’s “Larry King Live” program.

Indian officials have said the 10 Islamist militants who killed nearly 200 people in a three-day rampage in Mumbai were from an anti-India group based in Pakistan. India has long said Pakistan is unable or unwilling to act against such groups.

Azam Amir Kasav, the only gunmen not killed by Indian commandos, told investigators he is a Pakistani citizen, Mumbai police chief Hasan Gafoor said.

But Zardari said India has provided no proof the gunman is Pakistani.

“We have not been given any tangible proof to say that he is definitely a Pakistani. I very much doubt ... that he’s a Pakistani,” Zardari said.

“The gunmen, plus the planners, whoever they are — they are stateless actors who are holding hostage the whole world,” he said.

Zardari said if India produced evidence that a Pakistani group was behind the attacks, his government would take action against them.

After the attacks, India renewed a long-standing demand Islamabad hand over about 20 fugitives New Delhi believes are hiding in Pakistan.

Zardari said if India provided proof against the fugitives, Pakistan would let its own judiciary handle the cases.

“If we had the proof, we would try them in our courts, we would try them in our land and we would sentence them, he said.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Jeremy Laurence

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