India to share more Mumbai information with US Thursday

January 7th, 2009 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) With Islamabad rejecting the evidence linking Pakistani nationals with the Mumbai carnage, India will seek the support of the US in stepping up pressure on Pakistan when Richard Boucher, the Bush administration’s key points person for South Asia, holds talks with Indian officials here Thursday.Boucher will meet External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Foreign Secretary Shivhsankar Menon and discuss with them the need to sustain international pressure on Islamabad in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, blamed by India on the Pakistan-based elements.

Menon shared the dossier establishing the Pakistani link with the Mumbai tragedy with US ambassador David Mulford Monday. Now New Delhi is likely to share more information that links not just Pakistan-based elements but Pakistani official agencies with the Mumbai mayhem, highly placed sources said.

In a hard-hitting speech, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday pointed a finger at the Pakistani government for using terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy and indicated the hand of Pakistani “official agencies” in the coordinated attacks targeting Mumbai.

In a sustained attempt to defuse tensions in the region which could affect the US’ planned surge against the Taliban in Afghanistan, Boucher is likely to underscore the need for India and Pakistan to cooperate in the Mumbai probe as each has “pieces of the puzzle”.

Boucher’s visit comes amid reports about the US sending teams of Federal Bureau of Investigation to Islamabad to question suspects held by Pakistani authorities in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. “They (the FBI) have visas and they are going to go, they are finishing some things here,” Mulford told NDTV news channel in an interview here.

Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia, comes here after wrapping up a three-day visit to Islamabad where he told the leadership that Pakistan must follow the leads given by India and track down the perpetrators of the Nov 26 Mumbai carnage. Amid denials by Pakistan, Boucher made clear the US’ assessment that “the attackers had links that lead to Pakistani soil”.

“The US wants Pakistan to investigate the information provided by India, follow available leads and track down perpetrators so that similar attacks do not occur in the future,” he told reporters in Islamabad hours after India handed over the evidence to Pakistan that linked Pakistan-based links to the Mumbai carnage Monday.

India and Pakistan both had “pieces of the puzzle”, he had said while underlining the need for cooperation between the two countries.

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