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26/11 evidence given to Pak
Give us wanted men, says India
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 5
Stepping up the pressure on Islamabad, India today handed over to Pakistan evidence linking elements in the neighbouring country with the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and demanded extradition of perpetrators of the strikes.

Foreign secretary Shiv Shanker Menon summoned Pakistan high Commissioner Shahid Malik to the External Affairs Ministry today and handed over to him the material which clearly suggested that those who carried out the massacre were in constant touch with elements in Pakistan. In Islamabad, Indian high commissioner to Pakistan Satyabrata Pal called on Pakistan foreign secretary Salman Bashir and handed over the information dossier to the latter.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the mediapersons that he had written to his counterparts around the world giving them details of the events in Mumbai and describing in some detail the progress that India had made in its investigations and the evidence that New Delhi had collected.

The Foreign secretary this evening briefed heads of missions of the countries, whose nationals were among those killed in the heinous attack. He will continue the process of briefing the envoys of other countries in the coming days.

The information dossier includes: material from the interrogation of Ajmal Kasab, details of the terrorists’ communication links with elements in Pakistan during the attack; recovered weapons and equipment and other articles; and data retrieved from recovered GPS and satellite phone.

“What happened in Mumbai was an unpardonable crime. As far as the Pakistan government is concerned, we ask only that it implements the bilateral commitments that it has made at the highest levels to India, and practices its international obligations,’’ said Mukherjee, who has been leading the chorus of Indian accusations against Islamabad.

The foreign secretary said India expected Pakistan to promptly undertake its investigations and share the results with New Delhi so as to bring the perpetrators to ‘Indian’ justice. “We would also hope that Pakistan implements its bilateral, multilateral and international obligations to prevent terrorism in any manner from territory under its control,’’ he underlined.

Menon said visiting vice-foreign minister of China He Yefei had met him today and briefed him on his discussions with the Pakistani leadership in Islamabad last week. India also shared the evidence dossier with him. He also met foreign minister and National Security Adviser M K Narayanan.

Asked to comment on statements by the Pakistani leadership that it would not hand over its nationals to India since there was no extradition treaty between the two countries, Menon pointed out that there was a SAARC Convention on terrorism and many other international instruments under which it could be done. “Pakistan is obliged to extradite criminals…it is hard to believe that this kind of a commando-like attack could be carried out without the knowledge of anybody in the Pakistani establishment,’’ he said.

Ruling out the possibility of a joint investigation into the attack by India and Pakistan, Menon wondered how it was possible to do so since the crime was committed in India while the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan.

The USA, meanwhile, said an FBI team would take the evidence it had gathered in the Mumbai attack to Islamabad and asserted that it would pursue to its logical conclusions the investigations into the terror strikes.

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Proof being examined: Pak

Islamabad, January 5
Pakistan on Monday confirmed it has received evidence regarding Mumbai terror attacks from India, and “concerned authorities” were “examining the material”.

India's extrenal affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that India had handed over evidence on the Mumbai attacks to Pakistan and expected a prompt investigation. Mukherjee said this material waslinked to elements in Pakistan.

“The material has been received in Pakistan now and is being examined by concerned authorities,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq in a statement. Tensions between Pakistan and India were heightened as India accused Pakistan-based militant groups of involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks in which over 190 people were killed.

But Pakistan denied involvement in the attacks and demanded concrete evidence.

The evidence provided by India includes material from the interrogation of the lone arrested gunman Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, details of the terrorists' communication links, recovered weapons and data retrieved from recovered GPS and satellite phones.

In New Delhi, external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee said he had also written to his counterparts around the globe, giving details of the Mumbai attacks, and hoped that the "world will unite" in ensuring an end to cross-border terrorism faced by India.

"We have today handed over to Pakistan evidence of the links with elements in Pakistan of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008," Mukherjee told reporters here.

His statement came soon after Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik to hand over the dossier, which includes confession of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone Pakistani terrorist held during the Mumbai attacks, and other material.

"What happened in Mumbai was an unpardonable crime," Mukherjee said and asked Pakistan to implement the bilateral commitments it has made at the highest levels to India and "practice its international obligations". — PTI

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