India on Wednesday said it would take up with Pakistan the claims made by Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a key accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, that he had acted at the behest of Islamabad and its spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and not the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“We will certainly take it up,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters here while replying to a question.
“We are in constant touch with the Pakistan government through our diplomatic channels,” Mr. Krishna said.
However, he added that the dialogue process with Pakistan would continue.
“These are two different aspects. Peace talks will go on, cricket matches will go on and simultaneously our relentless efforts will continue to bring to justice all those responsible for the heinous crime,” the Minister said.
“There are no contradictions in that position,” Mr. Krishna said when asked if the revelations made by Rana would have an impact on India-Pakistan peace talks. “I have said that both these things will have to go on,” he said.
Referring to efforts made by India to extradite Abdul Rauf, a Pakistani national detained in Chile on suspicion of his involvement in the conspiracy behind the IC-814 hijacking in December 1999, Mr. Krishna said: “Our intelligence agencies have already deputed personnel to go to that country and then make an assessment whether it is the same person who was responsible for the hijacking. If it is so, necessary follow-up action would be initiated.”
Sources in the Home Ministry said the disclosures only corroborated what India had been stating about the role of ISI in the 26/11attacks. David Coleman Headley, an American citizen of Pakistani descent and an accomplice of Rana, was also arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his involvement in the attacks.
While Headley entered into a plea bargain arrangement with the U.S. authorities, Rana preferred to go on trial. The sources noted that the disclosures came at a time when Pakistan's ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha was on a visit to Washington.