26/11 culprits should be tried in Pakistan: Miliband (Lead)

January 16th, 2009 - 10:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Nawaz SharifIslamabad, Jan 16 (IANS) British Foreign Secretary David Miliband Friday said Pakistan should hold “transparent investigations” into the Mumbai attacks and the culprits should be tried in the country.”Pakistan should hold transparent investigations into the attacks and the culprits should be tried in Pakistan,” Milband told a press conference at the British High Commission.

Miliband, who arrived here Friday, also said that not just India but Britain and the international community want Pakistan to act against those behind the Mumbai attacks while showing no tolerance towards terrorists.

The British foreign secretary held talks with his counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

He also met opposition leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and is scheduled to meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani before departing Saturday.

Miliband said it was encouraging that relations between both India and Pakistan were improving over the last four years, but the 26/11 attacks had affected the relationship.

Miliband also said that the Indian government had helped Pakistan in getting a loan from the IMF recently.

The British Foreign Secretary said that Pakistan should act to root out terrorism. “There should be political, social and economic plans and not only military,” he said.

Prime Minister Gilani in his meeting with Miliband said his government would do whatever it can to root out terrorism and move fast in acting against those who are proven to be involved in the attacks, an official said.

Miliband arrived here after a visit to India where he assured the Indian leadership of transparent investigations by Pakistan into the Mumbai attacks.

Gilani informed Miliband that a three-member committee has been formed to investigate the Mumbai attacks.

The panel is headed by Additional Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Javed Iqbal, and comprises counter-terrorism experts Khalid Qureshi and Liaquat Ali Khan.

The visiting British minister was also informed about actions taken against the Jamaat-ud Dawa and other militant groups during his meeting with Qureshi at the Foreign Office.

Foreign ministry official said Miliband and Qureshi met for nearly two hours on a range of issues including Islamabad’s relations with India.

Qureshi said Pakistan had appreciated Miliband’s “balanced and rational statements” during his stay in India, the official said, adding that Pakistan had expressed concern about the break in the peace process with India.

A statement by the Foreign Office said that Miliband briefed Qureshi on his visit to India.

Qureshi said Pakistan will conduct a transparent inquiry into the Mumbai attacks and use the information provided by India as well as Pakistan’s own investigations, to establish legally tenable evidence to bring the perpetrators to justice.

He said Pakistan remains determined to uncover the full facts behind the Mumbai incident. He stressed the need for close cooperation between Pakistan and India to defeat terrorism, which is the common enemy of the people of the two countries.

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