India to reply to Pakistan’s Mumbai queries shortly: Pranab (Roundup)March 9th, 2009 - 11:21 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi/Lahore, March 9 (IANS) With barely three days to go before the judicial remand of six suspects detained by Pakistan for the Mumbai terror strikes expires, India Monday said it will “shortly” reply to Islamabad’s queries on the carnage.
In Lahore, the high court extended by 60 days the house arrest of Hafeez Mohammad Saeed, founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) that New Delhi has blamed for the 26/11 mayhem.
“We will send our reply to Pakistan shortly. We are in touch with the home minister,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters in New Delhi.
Mukherjee’s statement comes a day after Pakistan asked India to reply as soon as possible to its 30 questions seeking more information on the Mumbai attacks which it thinks are necessary to build a fool-proof case for prosecution of the the six suspects it is holding.
The judicial custody of the six men expires March 12.
India’s reply can be expected in the next two days, official sources said.
Mumbai Police have forwarded answers to most of 30 questions to the home ministry, which is in the process of scrutinising the replies, which will then be sent to Pakistan by the external affairs ministry.
The answers to most questions, the Indian government has indicated, are alaready contained in the 11,000-page chargesheet filed against Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive during the Mumbai attacks.
Referring to the 30 queries that were handed over to New Delhi on February 12 along with Pakistan’s response to the Indian dossier on the Mumbai attacks, Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said Saturday: “Unfortunately, till today (the replies have) not been received.”
“I request (Indian authorities) to send that reply as quick as possible so that my prosecutors can collect the evidence and prosecution is done really and in a successful manner to bring the culprits to justice,” he said.
Malik pointed out that while suspects could be held in police custody for 90 days in India, Pakistani laws allowed police remand for only 30 days.
Pakistan’s Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) has also warned that it “may have to stop further investigations” against the six suspects due to the lack of cooperation by India and other countries.
This has also raised questions over the continued detention of LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and its communications expert Zaraar Shah who were arrested in December, at the same time Hafeez Saeed was put under house arrest.
India says Lakhvi had planned the Mumbai strikes. However, the Pakistani authorities acted only after the UN proscribed the Jamaatud Daawa that the LeT had morphed itself into after being banned in the wake of the Dec 13, 2001, attack on the Indian parliament that New Delhi has blamed on the terror group.
Observers here say that if the six suspects are let off, Lakhvi and Shah could well take the plea that their continued detention was also not justified.
On Feb 12, the day Malik admitted that part of the Mumbai conspiracy had been planned on its territory, the FIA had charged eight men with the assault. Among them were the six arrested men, while the seventh was at large. The eight man is Ajmal Amir Kasab.
- Mere leads, not sufficient evidence provided by India against Saeed: Pak - Apr 25, 2010
- Not 10, but 12 terrorists trained for Mumbai attack: Jindal - Jul 05, 2012
- Pakistan waits for Indian response over judicial panel - Nov 20, 2011
- Mumbai attack: Indian envoy meets Pakistani minister - Dec 27, 2011
- 26/11 probe: Pakistan rejects India's request to quiz Lakhvi - Mar 13, 2011
- Pak hands over six dossiers to India seeking Kasab's extradition - Apr 25, 2010
- India welcomes Pakistan judicial commission's visit - Nov 05, 2011
- Talks with Pakistan are not ruled out: Krishna - Apr 26, 2010
- Pakistan's apex court dismisses Lakhvi's plea for acquittal - May 27, 2010
- Pakistan says Kasab should be hanged, but hedges on Hafiz Saeed - Nov 10, 2011
- US envoy denies meeting Hafiz Saeed - May 10, 2012
- Pakistan to send panel for 26/11 probe in India - Jul 24, 2011
- Pakistani commission to visit India in 26/11 case (lead) - Jan 20, 2012
- 26/11 attack: Pakistani judicial panel to visit India - Jan 20, 2012
- Pak's latest flip-flop, says it never demanded Kasab's extradition - May 07, 2010
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