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Terror Dossier
NSA belies Mukherjee’s claim
Narayanan says Pakistan did respond with a set of queries

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 1
In what may cause embarrassment to the UPA government, National Security Adviser MK Narayanan has virtually contradicted External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Pakistan’s response to the dossier of evidence provided by India to the neighbouring country on the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

While Mukherjee yesterday categorically stated that Islamabad had not given any official response to the Indian dossier, Narayanan, considered a close confidant of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said Islamabad had, after the receipt of the dossier, reverted to India and asked a number of questions, to which even answers had been provided.

‘’So as far as we are concerned, we believe that Pakistan is making an attempt to arrive at the truth. I assume that they (Pakistan) are yet to receive reply to the second set of queries they have made,’’ Narayanan told Karan Thapar in the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ programme.

Narayanan’s statement is being seen as a sign of confusion within the government as it does not match what the External Affairs Ministry and the Foreign Minister had been saying.

Only yesterday, Mukherjee had issued a strong statement, saying: “I will like to underline that we have so far not received any official Pakistani response to the Indian dossier or official intimation on the outcome of the investigations.’’

And taking a line which was almost at variance with the position of Mukherjee, the NSA went on to add that Pakistan was certainly taking things seriously and was proceeding in a manner that one would expect an investigative agency to proceed.

Islamabad, he pointed out, had been claiming that the Pakistani state was not involved in the attacks and that non-state actors were behind it. ‘’If the Pakistani state is not involved, why they should not be honest about it. They should be as honest as they can be. But we will wait and watch.’’

India, He said, was not impressed with the “cosmetic” steps taken by Islamabad so far to check the activities of the terrorist organisations, operating on its soil. ‘’What we really want is that the perpetrators or the masterminds of the Mumbai attack should be brought to justice. If Pakistan is honest about its intentions and believes that terrorism needs to be stamped out from its country, then it’s a very simple matter-handing over those who have been named in the FIR.’’

On the detention of some of the known terrorists by Pakistan, Narayanan said they were in fact “house guests” and wondered whether it could be described as detention. He also reiterated India’s demand that Pakistan hand over to this country the fugitives from Indian law who had taken shelter in the neighbouring country. He said India was disappointed with some of the comments made by British foreign secretary David Miliband during his recent visit.

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‘We’re ready to share more info on 26/11’

Berhampore (WB), February 1
India is ready to share more information with Pakistan if Islamabad wants any more dossier to further its investigation into the 26/11 Mumbai attack, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today.

He reiterated that Pakistan had not given any report to India on its probe into the terror strikes and that a lot of reports had appeared in media in this regard.

"But Islamabad has not replied to the dossier that India had officially given to that country," he said.

As diplomatic relations between the two countries were on, official channels should be used, he said, while speaking at a function in Jangipur sub-divisional hospital area here. — PTI

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