Hand over Dawood, Salahuddin
New Delhi, July 21
“If Pakistan really wants to convince the people of India that we are working together against terrorism then it can take some action immediately and they can,” a Ministry of External Affairs spokesman said in a prepared reply in response to a question on Indian reaction on Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s address to the nation yesterday.
Moreover, the Government of India is having an appraisal of the July 11 Mumbai blasts. “ We are also looking at all implications that it has in political and security terms and we are taking considered action step-by-step,” the spokesman said.
There is nothing new in New Delhi’s demand for arrest and handing over of the two above-named terrorists who are harboured in Pakistan and whom Islamabad has been treating as its strategic weapons against India.
India also demanded that Lashkar-e-Toiba’s parent body, the Jamaat-Ud-Dawa (JuD), should be banned and its leaders should be arrested. Islamabad has so far been saying that the JuD is being kept under close watch.
Dawood Ibrahim has been listed in the UN Security Council’s 1267 Committee as an individual associated with the Al Qaeda and has been designated by the United States as a “global terrorist”. The Foreign Office said, “ If Pakistan takes action to implement the directives of the UN Security Council, then it will give credibility to its assertion that it is willing to fight terror.”
The MEA spokesman said President Musharraf’s offer to help in investigations in the Mumbai blasts, if evidence were to be provided to him, gave no cause for satisfaction to the Indian Government in view of Pakistan’s refusal to cooperate in the past.
The spokesman was asked an obvious question: whether the Indian suggestions were not preconditions? He answered it thus: “I did not say that. I was asked a question what it would take to convince us. I have listed here some examples of practical actions which will add credibility to Pakistan’s claim that they are willing to fight terror together with India.”
The Foreign Office also hinted at the futility of providing evidence to Pakistan about the latter’s involvement in terrorist activities in India. Asked if New Delhi had provided any fresh evidence to Islamabad, as asked by President Musharraf in his address yesterday, the spokesman said, “This claim that ‘provide us evidence and we will cooperate’ gives us no cause for satisfaction because in the past when we have provided evidence then there has been no practical action on Pakistan’s part.”
At the same time, the MEA maintained that in view of President Musharraf’s assurance, India would continue to provide to Pakistani authorities all available evidence and await practical action on their part.
Pak rejects demand
Islamabad July 21
A strongly-worded statement by Pakistan Foreign Ministry said the fact that after 10 days of the blasts India had little to say other than to mention Ibrahim and Salahuddin “demonstrates that there was nothing to warrant the irresponsible act of pointing finger at Pakistan immediately after the Mumbai attack”. — PTI