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Musharraf says action against perpetrators of Mumbai attacks ''time consuming''

Musharraf says action against perpetrators of Mumbai attacks ''time consuming''New Delhi, Nov 17 : Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday said that action against militant group and alleged conspirators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), would be time consuming and difficult as they enjoy tremendous public support.

Addressing a press conference here, Musharraf said that the LeT enjoyed the support of the people in Pakistan because of the humanitarian work undertaken by them.

"They have tremendous public support and during the earthquake in Pakistan, the best NGO doing welfare for the people was their front organisation. So therefore, it may not be that easy to address problems," he said.

Commenting on Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, who is believed to be the mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Musharraf said that he did not agree with former''s notion of ''Jihad''.

"When you are talking of Hafiz Saeed, I think his call to Jihad is certainly not correct. I certainly do not agree with that. I think a time has come for reconciliation and in my time certainly we were on a conciliatory course with India. We were trying to resolve our disputes," he added.

Musharraf also acknowledged the growing militancy and extremism in Pakistan and blamed weak governance, as the root cause of the problem.

"Yes indeed, unfortunately extremism and terrorism in Pakistan is quite out of control. One can''t say, whether the environment is changing or the weakness of the government, but certainly the situation is bad at the moment," he said.

Musharraf further said Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was expected to visit Islamabad in 2007, and added that both countries could have resolved the Siachen and Sir Creek dispute.

"In 2007 he (Manmohan Singh) was supposed to come to Pakistan because I had visited India and it was agreed that he ought to come to Pakistan, it was his turn to come to Pakistan and I had also said that coming to Pakistan would be meaningless if we did not sign some agreements on the disputes," said Musharraf.

"So, whether Kashmir was solved or not, at least Siachen and Sir Creek should have been inked and closed. Unfortunately he did not come, now I don''t know the reason, I think you should ask him the reason, why he didn''t come," he added.

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh''s much speculated visit to Pakistan still looks uncertain with India indicating that there is ''a very small window'' and stressing that people were still waiting for the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to be brought to book. (ANI)