Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, the Pakistan foreign minister, said the blasts, which killed at least 160 people, were the work of "negative forces" attempting to exploit resentments between the two countries.

"I think the Mumbai incident ... underlines the need for the two countries to work together to control this environment, but they can only do so if they resolve their disputes," he said.

"We should try and take advantage of this improved atmosphere and resolve outstanding disputes, particularly the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir."

Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since just after the two countries won independence from Britain in 1947, but both claim it in full, leading to tension between the two countries.

Profound sadness

Leaders across the globe have also united in condemnation of the attack, with Spain expressing solidarity with the Indian people and recalling the "tragic scenes" it experienced following a similar attack in its capital, Madrid, in 2004 which left almost 200 dead.

"There is no political cause that can justify the murder of innocent people"

Condoleezza Rice,
US secretary of state

"In the name of the Spanish government and on my own behalf, I want to express my profound sadness for these very serious terrorist attacks which have struck your country," Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, said in a cable to his Indian counterpart on Tuesday.

"I also want to express the solidarity and affection of the  Spanish people."

Tony Blair, the British prime minister, also sent his condolences over the "brutal and shameful attacks", while Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, pledged to stand with India in the "war on terror".

"There is no political cause that can justify the murder of  innocent people," she said.

New York City reinforced security on its public transit network on Tuesday in response to the Mumbai attack.

"We are stepping up security throughout," a police spokesman said.

Russia, Afghanistan, France, South Africa, Italy and the European Union also condemned the blasts.