Details of Mumbai attacks not evidence, says Pakistan (Lead)

January 6th, 2009 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghIslamabad, Jan 6 (IANS) Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said Tuesday that the details of the Mumbai attacks provided by India cannot be treated as evidence, besides which it does not contain information that could help the investigators.”The details provided by India are mere information and cannot be treated as evidence or help in the investigations,” Bashir told the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.

A participant in the meeting said that Bashir gave a detailed briefing on the situation, saying Pakistan was serious in conducting investigations.

“We need concrete evidence of the involvement of Pakistanis (in the Mumbai attacks), without which we cannot move ahead in our investigations,” the member quoted Bashir as saying.

Bashir also told the meeting that Pakistan will not remove its forces from the Indian border until “India relocates its troops to the peacetime locations”. He said Pakistan might go to the United Nations on the Indian war threats and accusations of Pakistan’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accused Pakistan of whipping up war hysteria, and also said the Mumbai attacks must have had support from some official agencies within this country.

“Today, even as Pakistan engages in whipping up war hysteria, our nation remains steadfastly united and if anything the process of national consolidation is becoming stronger,” Singh told a conference of chief ministers on internal security in New Delhi.

Bashir, in reply to a question by a member of the standing committee, said it was India that had started the military buildup and threatened Pakistan of attacks on militant camps.

“We have reports that India was planning to attack some locations inside Pakistan in December,” the foreign secretary told the meeting.

Committee chairman Farooq Sattar told IANS that it has asked the governments of both Pakistan and India to resolve the Mumbai attacks issue through dialogue.

“Pakistan is ready to hold such talks and India should respond positively to this offer,” Sattar maintained.

He said neither Pakistan nor India could withstand a war in the ongoing economic crunch and should come to the table for discussions.

The committee also called upon the Pakistani government to take parliament into confidence before taking major decisions. He said that policy decisions should not be taken without parliament’s approval.

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