Advani demands probe panel on 26/11 attacks, government says no (Lead)

June 5th, 2009 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday asked the government to share with parliament the dossier of 26/11 evidence given to Pakistan and also called for setting up an enquiry commission - a demand the government rejected.
“I believe that the 26/11 attack was a proxy war. The mastermind behind this attacks, Hafiz Saeed, was released in the absence of concrete evidence. The evidence given by us to Pakistan should therefore be shared in parliament,” Advani said while participating in a debate on the president’s address Thursday to the joint session of parliament.

However, Home Minister P. Chidambaram ruled out setting up any probe commission and said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had not set up any commission after the hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight to Kandahar in December 1999.

Citing lack of evidence, the Lahore High Court this week ordered the release of Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, suspected mastermind of the Nov 26 terrorist attack in Mumbai.

More than 170 people were killed after 10 Pakistani terrorists attacked key spots in Mumbai on the night of Nov 26.

Advani also suggested that the sharing of evidence with parliament “will help the country and international community to apply pressure on Pakistan”.

Referring to the findings of the R.D. Pradhan committee constituted by the Maharashtra government to inquire into security lapses on the night of Nov 26, Advani said the government-appointed panel had blamed the central government.

“It is very serious. So a separate enquiry commission should be constituted to enquire it,” Advani said.

Vinita Kamte, wife of police officer Ashok Kamte who was killed while battling the terrorist, had expressed disappointment over the Pradhan Committee findings reportedly giving a clean chit to Mumbai Police.

Earlier Advani congratulated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on their party’s electoral victory. He called for a new beginning in government-opposition relations and said it was possible to reach such a “common goal”.

He also wanted to know what concrete steps the government was taking to bring back illegal money Indian citizens have stashed outside the country in secret bank accounts - an issue the BJP had raised during the election campaign.

“Money has been stashed away. There has to be some clarification on what steps the government is taking. Is it part of the prime minister’s 100-day action plan?” queried Advani.

Referring to the allegedly racist attacks on Indian students in Australia during the past month, Advani said the disturbing events had worried everyone in the country.

“They (Australian government) have replied. But I think someone or a delegation from India must go there and get a first-hand account of what is happening.”

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