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No fresh communication from Pakistan on Mumbai attacks case trial: India

Fire at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai on November 27, 2008 during the terror attack. Photo: Vivek Bendre

Fire at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai on November 27, 2008 during the terror attack. Photo: Vivek Bendre  

India on Friday contested Pakistan’s claim that it has asked for additional evidence for the early completion of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks trial, saying it has not received any “fresh” communication from Islamabad.

However, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said there could be further communications between the two sides in the coming days, asserting that India was committed to providing all cooperation to Pakistan in expediting the trial and bringing all perpetrators to justice.

“Our position is very clear. We remain committed to providing all cooperation to Pakistan in terms of expediting the Mumbai attack trial and bringing all perpetrators to justice. The Pakistan Foreign Affairs spokesperson has claimed that their Foreign Secretary has written to our Foreign Secretary,” he said.

“No fresh letter has been received in this regard. What he has been referring to is a letter written in September last year. Our Foreign Secretary had replied to that letter. We keep hearing in the media about the list of 24 witnesses which are required by Pakistan to progress the Mumbai case trial.

“But so far we have not received any communication from Pakistan conveying the details of these 24 people. Because of our commitment to cooperate with Pakistan in bringing the Mumbai case trial to a speedy conclusion, you can expect further communications between the two sides in the coming days,” Mr. Swarup said.

His remarks came a day after Pakistan said it has asked India to provide “additional evidence” for the early completion of the Mumbai attacks trial in that country.

“Our Foreign Secretary has written to India’s Foreign Secretary to provide additional evidence so that Mumbai case trial is competed. The response from the Indian side is still awaited,” Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria had said at a press briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

Asked about comments of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz that India was “shying away” from talks, Mr. Swarup said India has never ever shied away from engagement with Pakistan and is prepared to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan bilaterally in an atmosphere free from terror and violence.

In fact it was India which had repeatedly taken initiatives to engage with Pakistan — be it Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invite to his Pakistani counterpart to attend oath taking ceremony or External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj going to Islamabad in December or Modi travelling to Lahore last December to wish Sharif, he said.

Noting that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was prepared to go to Pakistan in first half of this year, he said but Pathankot terror incident happened.

Referring to Ms. Swaraj’s comments at a recent press conference, Mr. Swarup said, “After an incident like Pathankot, it is a natural and legitimate expectation of the government and people of India that there should be concrete action from the Pakistani side which has not denied the involvement of its nationals in the Pathankot attack.

“Therefore, as the Minister said we are awaiting a concrete investigation to take place at the Pakistani end.”

On the status of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Navy officer in Pakistan custody, Mr. Swarup said India had repeatedly sought consular access to him.

“Pakistan has a particular narrative regarding him. We believe the circumstances under which he was abducted in Iran remain very unclear. Those circumstances can be made clear once we have access to him.

“Pakistan by not giving access to him is in a way showing there is something to hide. So I think full clarity will come once we have accessibility to Jadhav,” Mr. Swarup added.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2020 1:51:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/No-fresh-communication-from-Pakistan-on-Mumbai-attacks-case-trial-India/article14465402.ece

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