Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan's president, made an urgent appeal to India on Sunday not to punish his country for the terror unleashed on Mumbai last week, warning that militants had the power to precipitate a war in the region. As the government in New Delhi faced mounting domestic recriminations after the three-day terrorist rampage in Mumbai, Mr Zardari urged Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister, to resist striking out at his government should investigations show that Pakistani militant groups were responsible for the attacks. Speaking exclusively to the Financial Times, Pakistan's president warned that provocation by rogue "non-state actors" posed the danger of a return to war between the nuclear-armed neighbours. "Even if the militants are linked to Lashkar-i-tayyaba, [a prominent militant group linked to previous attacks against India] who do you think we are fighting?" asked Mr Zardari, whose country is battling al-Qaeda and Taliban militants on its shared border with Afghanistan. "We live in troubled times where non-state actors have taken us to war before, whether it is the case of those who perpetrated the 9/11 [attacks on the US] or contributed to the escalation of the situation in Iraq," said Mr Zardari. "Now, events in Mumbai tell us that there are ongoing efforts to carry out copycat attacks by militants. We must all stand together to fight out this menace." The Indian government was on Sunday under intense pressure to respond aggressively to the attacks, which claimed at least 192 lives in a rampage by a team of well-organised terrorists. India's security was being taken to "war level", Sriprakash Jaiswal, the minister of state for home affairs told. Shivraj Patil, home minister, resigned for failing to stem the violence that has swept India this year as criticism intensified during the weekend over the response of the security forces to the attack on India's financial capital. Mumbai had been struck twice before " the last occasion two years ago " but opposition politicians and businesspeople said lessons had not been learned. "The Congress government has no moral authority to survive," said Arun Jaitley, a leader of the opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party, blaming its weakness for collapsed intelligence gathering and a poor security response to the terror strike. Some of the most stinging criticism of the response of the emergency services came from business. "The police were woefully inadequate in terms of equipment and in terms of being prepared," said Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group that owns the Taj Mahal hotel. He said fire engines took three hours to arrive. One former guest of the Taj hotel said security was "non-existent" and that five or six points of public access made it highly vulnerable. PRS Oberoi, chairman of the Oberoi Group, said the majority of people killed at the Trident-Oberoi, were shot in the first 30 minutes " the time it took the police to arrive. Mr Singh's office said Palaniappan Chidambaram, finance minister, would replace Shivraj Patil as home minister.