India awaiting word on Pakistan’s Mumbai probe: Mukherjee (Roundup)

January 31st, 2009 - 11:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Islamabad, Jan 31 (IANS) India Saturday said it was awaiting a formal communication on Pakistan’s probe into the Mumbai terror attacks that New Delhi has blamed on elements operating from the neighbouring country, even as Islamabad hoped its enquiry would ease sub-continental tensions.”The Pakistani High Commissioner (Shahid Malik) paid a courtesy call on the Home Minister (P. Chidambaram) on January 29, 2009. He did not provide any details on the results of the investigation in Pakistan into the Mumbai attacks,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in New Delhi.

“We have also seen media reports about certain statements by various Pakistani officials on their ongoing investigations, including a certain reported clarification by the Pakistani Prime Minister (Yousuf Raza Gilani).

“I would like to underline that we have so far not received any official Pakistani response to the Indian dossier or official information on the outcome of their investigations. These are awaited,” Mukherjee maintained.

Speaking to reporters in Multan Saturday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that had been tasked with examining an Indian dossier on the Mumbai attacks had handed over its report to the interior ministry and the law ministry was reviewing this.

“Once the findings of the investigations into the Mumbai attacks is brought to light it will help defuse India-Pakistan tensions,” Qureshi said.

“Pakistan will share the findings of the investigations with India,” he added.

Underlining the need for bilateral cooperation for conducing an effective probe, the minister added: “Pakistan is serious about the investigation and intends to take necessary action”.

On Friday, Qureshi had said Pakistan had shared with India the progress made in its probe into the Mumbai attacks but New Delhi promptly said this was yet to be received.

“High Commissioner Shahid Malik yesterday (Thursday) met Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram and updated him on the progress Pakistan has made so far in the investigations,” Dawn Saturday quoted Qureshi as telling reporters in Islamabad.

On its part, India Friday said it was yet to receive “through proper channels” any response to the dossier holding it complicit in the Mumbai attacks and asked Islamabad to convey the “outcome” of its investigations soon.

According to Qureshi, the findings of the FIA preliminary investigation would be formally shared with India in a few days after an internal process that included a vetting by the law ministry.

“The report is understood to be with Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik who will forward it to the law ministry for review,” Dawn said.

After completion of the review the report would be handed over to the Foreign Office for sharing it with India and other countries.

According to Qureshi: “Pakistan has assured India and the world community that it is making progress in the process of investigating the Mumbai attacks and wants to bring the culprits to justice.”

He maintained that Pakistan wanted to move forward with the “right intentions”.

Meanwhile, the FIA Friday presented to the interior ministry its preliminary report prepared on the basis of an Indian dossier on the Mumbai attacks.

“I have seen the report and forwarded it to Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah for further examining it in consultation with the ministry of law,” Malik told reporters after a meeting with FIA officials.

“I must reassure the international community that perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks would be brought to justice,” the adviser said.

A handout issued by the interior ministry said: “On the basis of information provided by India about the Mumbai incident, the FIA team has submitted its report to Mr Rehman Malik.”

Speaking in New Delhi Friday, Mukherjee had said: “We have not received any information through proper channels. This is not the way the government can respond.”

“We have given them the material. We expect them to investigate and let us know the outcome of the investigation,” Mukherjee stressed.

He was reacting to a question on reports in the media quoting Pakistani diplomats that suggested that Pakistan would claim that the Mumbai atrocity was not planned inside its territory.

“We will be amazed if they say so. This will be the end of whatever little credibility the Pakistani establishment has,” said official sources, who did not wish to be named.

“It’s totally unacceptable,” said sources in response to Pakistan’s habit of speaking through media and third countries in the wake of the Mumbai carnage.

According to Pakistani media reports, the probe conducted by the country’s interior ministry has concluded that the Mumbai terror strikes were planned outside its territory.

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