Pakistan ‘examining’ evidence, but indicates it is ‘insufficient’ (Lead, changing dateline)

January 6th, 2009 - 4:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Islamabad, Jan 6 (IANS) Pakistan’s envoy said Tuesday his country had not “rejected” the evidence that India had furnished of the involvement of elements from his country in the Mumbai carnage, even as a Pakistani newspaper reported that Islamabad had told the US that the material was “insufficient”.”There is no question of rejection of material that the Indian government has given us,” Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik told reporters in New Delhi on the sidelines of a conference of Asia Africa Rural Development Organisation.

“We are in the process of examining the evidence and we will get in touch with authorities,” Malik said.

Earlier, reports from Islamabad said Pakistan had set up a joint investigation team to examine the material handed over by India.

Apart from the confessional statement of Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the Nov 26-29 Mumbai bloodbath, the evidence points to communication links with elements in Pakistan during the attacks, data from recovered GPS and satellite phones and recovered weapons and other articles.

According to The Nation newspaper, “Pakistan has made clear to the US that the evidence provided by India is insufficient and no action can be based upon it”.

Pakistan has also made it clear to US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher that “the proofs brought to Pakistan were too insufficient to be made a ground for any action”, the newspaper said, quoting unnamed sources.

This apart, the US had been told that Kasab’s confession had been extracted “under torture and violence of investigation agencies” and had “no legal status”, The Nation quoted a source as saying.

The Indian dossier also contains a demand for handing over Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah who New Delhi says masterminded and facilitated the Mumbai attacks.

The duo have been arrested in Pakistan and Islamabad has rejected demands for their extradition, saying if evidence was found against them, they would be tried in this country.

Reacting to this, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said in New Delhi Monday that under international conventions and the SAARC Charter, Pakistan was obliged to extradite the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attacks.

The Nation said that “Pakistan too had prepared a dossier that contained evidence on Indian involvement in acts of terror in tribal areas and Balochistan, with a focus on the role of Indian consulates in Afghanistan in this regard”.

“Pakistan will soon send its dossier to Washington and other world capitals to let them know which state in South Asia has been supporting the menace of terror on the soil of neighbouring states,” the newspaper quoted the official as saying.

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