India asks Pakistan to stop diversionary tactics (Lead)

January 20th, 2009 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) India Tuesday kept pressure on Pakistan by asking it to stop diversionary tactics as the whole world was closely watching the effectiveness of Islamabad’s actions in dismantling the terror infrastructure on its territory that New Delhi holds responsible for the Mumbai carnage. India also reacted cautiously to Pakistan’s offer to join the probe into the Mumbai attacks, saying it expected Pakistan to first make full disclosure of its investigations into the Nov 26-29 carnage that claimed more than 170 lives, including those of 26 foreigners, and injured over 300.

“It would be better if there is no diversion or deflection at this stage,” Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma told reporters here on the sidelines of a CII conclave.

He was responding to reports in the Pakistani media suggesting that Islamabad may seek the extradition of Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit, an accused in the Malegaon blasts and who is also suspected by some to be linked to the Samjhauta Express blast two years ago. Over 50 Pakistanis died in the explosions in the cross-border train.

“I think we are talking here about what is firmly established about the dastardly attack in Mumbai carried out by organisations which have been identified and named and individuals who are Pakistani nationals,” Sharma said.

Intensifying pressure on Pakistan to act against the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage, Sharma underlined that the world was watching the actions taken by Pakistan against terror outfits in that country.

“I have to say that the whole world is watching how effective the actions would be to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and also bring to justice those who are responsible for masterminding the carnage in Mumbai,” he maintained.

When asked about sending Indian investigators to Pakistan, Sharma said that a decision would be taken in next days after looking at the developments in Islamabad’s investigation into the case.

Sharma also stressed on the need for Pakistan to conduct an independent probe into the 26/11 attacks.

Earlier in the day, Defence Minister A.K. Antony rejected reports about Pakistan seeking Purohit’s extradition, saying Islamabad had no locus standi in the investigations involving the Indian Army officer.

“The case (Malegaon blast) is under examination by the Anti-Terror Squad (of Maharashtra Police). It is our internal matter. We are investigating it. How can Pakistan be concerned with that?” Antony asked while talking to reporters here on the sidelines of an NCC function.

“Our agencies are inquiring about that. Let us wait for the final results. It (investigation) is our responsibility and we are doing it,” Antony contended.

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