India gives UN Mumbai proof, Ban urges Pakistan’s cooperation (Intro Roundup)

February 5th, 2009 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Islamabad, Feb 5 (IANS) With Pakistan persisting in its denial mode, India Thursday shared evidence linking Pakistani nationals to the Mumbai atrocity with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and thanked him for pressuring Islamabad to bring the perpetrators of the carnage to justice. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee called on the UN chief in New Delhi and discussed with him a host of issues, including international terrorism and the Nov 26-29 Mumbai terror strikes.

Other regional issues like the resurgence of violence in Afghanistan, the situation in Myanmar, UN reforms, climate change and the global financial issues also figured in the discussions.

Mukherjee shared the evidence linking Pakistani nationals to the Mumbai atrocity and expressed mounting anger in India over Pakistan’s prevarication towards dealing with the perpetrators of the carnage, reliable sources said. Mukherjee also drew attention of the UN chief to Pakistan’s lack of response to the Indian dossier a month after it was given to Islamabad.

He also alluded to media reports in Pakistan which suggested that Islamabad was trying to delink itself from the Mumbai terror attacks and may say in its reply to the Indian dossier that the Mumbai attack was the handiwork of a Bangladesh-based militant group.

The UN chief shared the discussions he had with Pakistani leaders in Islamabad Wednesday where he had asked Pakistan to cooperate with India in prosecuting the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage.

The UN chief also reiterated his message that India and Pakistan should resume their composite dialogue process and improve their relations in the interest of regional peace and stability.

“I have urged the prime minister (Yousuf Raza Gilani) that the Pakistan government should have a full investigation into this issue and fully cooperate with the Indian government,” Ban had told reporters at a joint press conference in Islamabad Wednesday along with the Pakistani leader.

“I would strongly urge again, even though you have suffered because of this Mumbai terrorist attack in your relationship with India, engage in composite dialogue as you have been very sincerely discussing all aspects of bilateral relationship, this is what the UN and international community wants,” Ban maintained.

India suspended the composite dialogue process following the Mumbai terror attacks that claimed more than 170 lives, including those of 26 foreigners, and injured over 300.

India Jan 5 submitted a detailed dossier to Pakistan pointing to the involvement of elements from this country in the Mumbai mayhem. Gilani said on Sunday that Islamabad had examined the dossier and would submit a report to New Delhi through diplomatic channels. He has also said that Pakistan was willing to amend its laws to enable prosecution of its nationals who were responsible for terror attacks outside the country.

Ban welcomed the statement while Gilani reiterated it at the press conference.

“My interior adviser told the cabinet today that the law exists and, if needed, it could be improved. I want to make it clear that we will not allow anyone to use the Pakistani soil against any country,” Gilani maintained.

Ban repeatedly spoke of the need for improving India-Pakistan ties.

“In a meeting with Prime Minister Gilani, I had asked for maintaining and strengthening the rapprochement between India and Pakistan that has taken its own momentum during the last several years as regional cooperation will pave a new era of cooperation, a peaceful co-existence and socio-economic transformation in South Asia,” Ban contended.

Terming Kashmir an “important issue” between the two countries, the UN secretary general said the international community wanted both countries to resolve this and other long-pending disputes through their composite dialogue process.

“All these issues should be addressed peacefully through dialogue,” Ban maintained.

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