Mumbai probe progress shared, says Pakistan; not so, says India (Lead)

January 31st, 2009 - 6:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad/New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Pakistan says it has shared with India the progress made in its probe into the Mumbai terror attacks but New Delhi says this is yet to be received.”High Commissioner Shahid Malik yesterday (Thursday) met Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram and updated him on the progress Pakistan has made so far in the investigations,” Dawn Saturday quoted Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi as telling reporters in Islamabad.

On its part, India Friday said it is yet to receive “through proper channels” any response to the dossier holding it complicit in the Mumbai attacks and asked Islamabad to convey the “outcome” of its investigations soon.

According to Qureshi, the findings of the preliminary investigation done by the Federal Investigation Agency would be formally shared with India in a few days after an internal process that included a vetting by the law ministry.

“The report is understood to be with Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik who will forward it to the law ministry for review,” Dawn said.

After completion of the review the report would be handed over to the Foreign Office for sharing it with India and other countries.

According to Qureshi: “Pakistan has assured India and the world community that it is making progress in the process of investigating the Mumbai attacks and wants to bring the culprits to justice.”

He maintained that Pakistan wanted to move forward with the “right intentions”.

Pakistan, he said, denounced terrorism no matter where it took place because it was a peaceful nation and wanted to focus its efforts on meeting the various challenges that if confronted.

“We have a lot of economic challenges, we are a nascent democracy, we want to strengthen democracy, our civilian institutions are weak, we want to strengthen them and that’s why we can’t indulge in extremism, war …,” Qureshi said, adding: “We just want to develop the country and see it prosper”.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency Friday presented to the interior ministry its preliminary report prepared on the basis of an Indian dossier on the Mumbai attacks.

“I have seen the report and forwarded it to Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah for further examining it in consultation with the ministry of law,” Malik told reporters after a meeting with FIA officials.

“I must reassure the international community that perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks would be brought to justice,” the adviser said.

A handout issued by the interior ministry said: “On the basis of information provided by India about the Mumbai incident, the FIA team has submitted its report to Mr Rehman Malik.”

Pakistan had Jan 17 assured India and the international community that the preliminary probe would be completed in 10 days and if any Pakistani was found involved in the Mumbai attacks he would be tried in Pakistan in accordance with the country’s laws but would not be handed over to India.

“Sources in government said the trial would be held in camera and the media would be briefed on the proceedings through proper channel. They said Pakistan wanted to try the people found involved in the carnage because the non-state actors had embarrassed the country and tarnished its image in the world,” Dawn reported.

Speaking in New Delhi Friday, Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said: “We have not received any information through proper channels. This is not the way the government can respond.”

“We have given them the material. We expect them to investigate and let us know the outcome of the investigation,” Mukherjee stressed.

He was reacting to a question on reports in the media quoting Pakistani diplomats that suggested that Pakistan would claim that the Mumbai atrocity was not planned inside its territory.

“We will be amazed if they say so. This will be the end of whatever little credibility the Pakistani establishment has,” said official sources, who did not wish to be named.

“It’s totally unacceptable,” said sources in response to Pakistan’s habit of speaking through media and third countries in the wake of the Mumbai carnage.

The Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11 were planned in a “third place” outside Pakistan and Britain, Pakistani High Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan said in London Friday. Hasan said Pakistan’s official report on the Mumbai attacks in which over 170 people were killed will be ready “by Saturday or Sunday”.

“Pakistan should honour the deadline it had given and make it public,” Mukherjee had said Thursday.

According to Pakistani media reports, the probe conducted by the country’s interior ministry has concluded that the Mumbai terror strikes were planned outside its territory.

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