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India Presses Pakistan for 'Credible Action' Against Terrorism


India's new government is pressing Pakistan to take "credible action" against terrorists said to be hiding in Pakistani territory.

Speaking in New Delhi Saturday, newly sworn-in Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna said India is ready to reach out to Pakistan in peace and friendship, but only if Pakistan does more to dismantle what he called "the infrastructure of terrorism."

Krishna says "the stumbling block" (or obstacle) to better relations between the two states is what he described as Pakistan's reluctance to do more to combat terrorism.

India says it has evidence that Pakistani agents helped plan the terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people last November. Before India's recent elections, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his government is ready to abandon five years of talks with Pakistan if authorities in Islamabad fail to prosecute those responsible.

In addition to Krishna, Mr. Singh announced other key Cabinet assignments Saturday, handing top positions to some of India's best known politicians.

Mr. Singh assigned veteran Congress party leader Pranab Mukherjee to head the Finance Ministry, while Palaniappan Chidambaram will stay on as home minister.

The 73-year-old Mukherjee served as foreign minister and acting finance minister during Mr. Singh's previous term and will be charged with helping India overcome the global financial crisis.

Chidambaram is credited with overhauling India's security forces following the attacks in Mumbai.

A.K. Anthony will continue as defense minister.

Mr. Singh is also bringing allies from other parties in his coalition into the Cabinet.

Sharad Pawar will again serve as agriculture minister and Mamata Banerjee will serve as railway minister.

The 76-year-old Mr. Singh took the oath of office for a second term as prime minister during a ceremony Friday at the presidential palace in New Delhi. Leaders of his Congress Party, encouraged by their decisive election victory this month, say the new government will focus on the plight of the poor, India's security and promoting tolerance between Hindus and Muslims.

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