M A I N   N E W S

India to provide evidence to Pak
Mumbai train blasts
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 1
Pakistan may deny the hand of the ISI and terror groups based on its soil behind the recent Mumbai train blasts but India today said that it would provide Pakistan with evidence to prove the same.

Taking charge as the Foreign Secretary, Mr Shiv Shankar Menon, questioned how Pakistan could deny the involvement of the ISI and Pakistan-based terror groups without looking at the evidence.

He said India would give evidence to Pakistan and “judge it by its actions and not words.” He said India was ready to present the evidence, but at the right time and the right place.

Reports suggest that Mr Menon will place the proof on the table when he meets his Pakistan counterpart in Delhi next month.

The Mumbai Police had yesterday blamed the ISI for masterminding the blasts and said these were executed by activists of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and SIMI.

Mr Menon, a 1972 batch IFS officer, has taken over from Mr Shyam Saran. “We will see what Pakistan does about the evidence and see what its reaction is,” Mr Menon said.

Analysts and the BJP have called the new joint anti-terror mechanism between India and Pakistan as Dr Manmohan Singh’s biggest foreign policy gamble. Mr Menon’s statement in that backdrop can be seen as tough words from the country’s top diplomat. “Success or failure of this mechanism will depend on what action Pakistan will take,” he said.

The Indo-Pak equation isn’t the only issue worrying the foreign policy establishment. The Indo-US nuclear deal is now stuck at the US Senate. On the civil nuclear deal, he said it enjoyed bipartisan support in the US and hoped for the early passage of the Bill by the Congress. “We have made this clear on previous occasions as well,” he said.

Late last night, Democrat Senators put new riders on the legislation to allow nuclear trade with India. The worry now is that it could be a potential deal breaker as the Congress goes to mid-term elections in November.

India’s optimism will be tested when Mr Saran, who is now an envoy on the deal, meets his counterpart Nicholas Burns in Delhi later this month in this regard.



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