Evidence handed over to Pakistan

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Diplomatic offensive: Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister He Yafei calling on External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday.
Diplomatic offensive: Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister He Yafei calling on External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Monday.

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi expects Islamabad to take up investigations and share the result

NEW DELHI: India on Monday summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik to the Foreign Office here to hand over “material” about Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks.

The move is part of the diplomatic offensive by New Delhi to convince the international community and Islamabad to take tangible action against the masterminds of the Mumbai attacks.

This includes briefings to all resident heads of missions within the next 24 hours while Indian Ambassadors will be doing the same in their countries of accreditation. India also shared the material during a meeting on Monday between Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and his counterpart and Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister, He Yafei.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has started writing to all his counterparts with details of the events in Mumbai and describing the progress made in the investigations. Home Minister P. Chidambaram will travel to the U.S. this week to share evidence on the Mumbai attacks as part of efforts to build pressure on Pakistan. “Our goals are clear. We want the perpetrators to be brought to justice,” Mr. Menon told journalists.

“It is hard to believe that something of this scale that took so long in preparation and of this nature that amounts to a commando attack could occur without anybody, anywhere in the establishment knowing this was happening,” Mr. Menon said. “This beggars my imagination. Wherever the investigations leads us, we will follow.”

Soon after Mr. Menon handed over dossiers to Mr. Malik, Mr. Mukherjee said the material was linked to “elements in Pakistan.” India was expecting Islamabad to “promptly undertake further investigations” in Pakistan and share the result with it. “We would also hope that Pakistan will implement its bilateral, multilateral and international obligations to prevent terrorism in any manner from territory under her control,” he added.

Mr. Mukherjee said the dossiers contained material obtained following the interrogation of Mohammed Ajmal ‘Kasab,’ the Pakistani national who is in police custody, details of the terrorists’ communication links with elements in Pakistan during the Mumbai attack, recovered weapons and equipment and data retrieved from recovered GPS and satellite phones.

“What happened in Mumbai was an unpardonable crime. As far as the government of Pakistan is concerned, we ask only that it implement the bilateral commitments that it has made at the highest levels to India, and practise her international obligations. These are clear. It is my hope that the world will unite to achieve the goal of eliminating the threat of such terrorism,” noted Mr. Mukherjee.

Simultaneously, the U.S. said it would also present evidence of Pakistani involvement in the attacks in order to persuade Islamabad to take the investigation into the attacks “to its conclusion.”

Speaking to journalists, U.S. Ambassador in India David Mulford affirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “will pursue the evidence gathered there [Mumbai] and they will eventually take the evidence to Pakistan because, under our law, if Americans are killed, the U.S. itself has a duty to pursue all avenues to the bottom of it.”

“The FBI has been in Mumbai since early December and has, I must say, been welcomed there. The level of cooperation offered to the FBI is very very significant and very much appreciated by the U.S,” he said.

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