India has replied to Pakistan’s queries on Mumbai dossier: NSA

February 1st, 2009 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Pakistan has raised two sets of queries on the Mumbai attacks dossier and these have been addressed, National Security Advisor (NSA) M.K. Narayanan has said.”We have provided them with the dossier. They have reverted with certain queries, we have replied to their queries, and I presume that they will have more questions and we will assist them,” Narayanan told interviewer Karan Thapar on the CNN-IBN show “Devil’s Advocate”.

“We have taken what I call a very conscious policy of saying if they wish us to assist in their investigations, we will do the utmost. What their response is going to be - from the kind of flip-flops that we have seen from time to time - I cannot say,” he added.

“What I am aware of is that after the receipt of the dossier by Pakistan, the Pakistan government has reverted to us and asked a number of questions, to which answers have been provided,” the NSA maintained.

Responding to a question as to whether he was satisfied with Pakistan’s response to the dossier, Narayanan replied: “I don’t know what the word satisfied (means) but certainly they appear to be taking things seriously and at least they are proceeding in a manner that one would expect an investigating agency to proceed, asking queries and not taking everything that is given at the face value that has been given.”

“So it is good news from our point of view. (But) whether after all this they would still accept the truth that will kind of hit them in the face, that I don’t know,” he added.

“So as far as we are concerned, we believe that Pakistan is making an attempt to arrive at the truth,” Narayanan said, adding that India was giving Pakistan every opportunity to “prove its bona fide” in the probe.

At the same time, he wondered why Pakistan was not being more open about the probe, particularly when it maintained that non-state actors were involved in the Mumbai attacks.

“Pakistan has been making a claim that non-state actors were involved. That means Pakistani state in not involved. If the Pakistani state is not involved, then there is no reason why they should be not be honest about it,” Narayanan contended.

Asked about Pakistan’s envoy in Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan’s statement that the Mumbai mayhem was planned outside his country — even before Islamabad’s probe was completed and the report on it submitted to the government — Nayarayan termed this an example of the “dysfunctional manner in which several things are happening in that country”.

“I assume that they are yet to receive the reply to the second set of queries they have made. So, I don’t know what the Pakistan high commissioner in London is talking about. I can only say that it is part of the dysfunctional manner in which several things are taking place in that country,” the NSA contended.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi too has discounted Hasan’s statement, saying it had been made in haste.

Narayanan also said Pakistan should hand over the perpetrators of terror attacks as India has demanded.

“If Pakistan is honest of its intention, if Pakistan believes that terrorism needs to be stamped out from their country and those elements that have been spreading terrorism elsewhere, then it is very simple matter - handing over those who have been named in the FIR. That is how the country that believes in helping each other acts,” Narayanan maintained.

Pakistan Saturday reiterated it would soon share with India the results of its probe into the Mumbai.

“Realistically speaking, India and the rest of the countries are looking at us to see what action we take and we are moving forward in the right direction,” Foreign Minister Qureshi told reporters in Multan late Saturday, the second time during the day that he spoke on the issue.

“We will take India and the other countries into confidence by sharing the findings of the initial probe,” Qureshi added in remarks that were rather conciliatory given the rhetoric he has indulged in the past.

His comments came soon after Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said New Delhi was yet to formally hear about the outcome of Pakistan’s probe.

“The Pakistani high commissioner (Shahid Malik) paid a courtesy call on the Home Minister (P. Chidambaram) on January 29, 2009. He did not provide any details on the results of the investigation in Pakistan into the Mumbai attacks,” Mukherjee said in New Delhi Saturday.

“We have also seen media reports about certain statements by various Pakistani officials on their ongoing investigations, including a certain reported clarification by the Pakistani Prime Minister (Yousuf Raza Gilani).”

“I would like to underline that we have so far not received any official Pakistani response to the Indian dossier or official information on the outcome of their investigations. These are awaited,” Mukherjee maintained.

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