Even as Pakistan insists they need more information to take action against the alleged perpetrators of 26/11, Home Minister P. Chidambaram reiterated that India has provided adequate evidence, accusing Islamabad of dragging its feet.
Pakistan was shielding masterminds of the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, including Lashkar-e-Taiba founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here on Thursday.
Mr. Chidambaram reiterated that Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was one of the masterminds. “There are others. We know their names and Pakistan also knows their names. If they [Pakistan] do not bring the others to trial, then I would have to conclude, reluctantly and regretfully that they are dragging their feet,” he told reporters.
Asked whether Pakistan had spared Saeed in the charge sheet filed in an anti-terrorist court, accusing seven other Lashkar terrorists, including Lakhvi, he said India was demanding his trial.
Mr. Chidambaram pointed out that Saeed faced Interpol Red Corner Notice for his alleged role in the Mumbai attacks. Islamabad repeatedly claimed that India only shared information about him and did not share evidence.
Pakistan put Saeed under house arrest for six months last year but released him after a court ruled his detention was illegal.
Mr. Chidambaram plans to attend next month’s SAARC Home Ministers’ conference in Islamabad.
The issue will come up for discussion between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and if the External Affairs Ministry gives the go-ahead, Mr. Chidambaram will travel to Pakistan, highly placed government sources said on Thursday.
The Interior/Home Ministers’ conference is scheduled to be held from February 20 for three days. It was postponed from November 24 and 27 last at the request of Bangladesh because of parliamentary elections in that country.
The meeting, likely to be attended by Ministers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is expected to discuss cooperation in fighting terrorism, narcotics and organised crime.
The first such SAARC meeting was held in Dhaka in May 2006 and the second in New Delhi in October 2007.