India ready to share more information, wants Pakistan reply on MUmbai (Roundup)

February 1st, 2009 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) In a scathing attack on the Pakistan government’s attitude towards the 26/11 Mumbai dossier, India Sunday stressed that it has yet to receive any reply through diplomatic channels, even while offering to share more information with Islamabad if needed. “Pakistan has not given India any information as a reply to the dossier through diplomatic channels. All we have heard so far on the dossier is from the media,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Sunday.

“The least Pakistan could have done is to inform the Indian government about the probe through the Indian high commission in Islamabad,” the minister added. He was speaking at a function at Murshidabad in West Bengal.

Mukherjee’s tough reminder to Pakistan appeared to contradict National Security Adviser (NSA) M.K. Narayanan’s remarks in a TV interview that Islamabad seemed serious about probing the Mumbai terror attacks in a manner an investigating agency “should proceed.”

Narayanan also said Pakistan has sent two sets of questions to India’s dossier handed over to it, one of which has already been replied to.

Mukherjee’s remarks came a day after his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Islamabad would soon share with India the results of its probe into the Mumbai mayhem and stressed that Pakistani authorities were “moving forward in the right direction.”

According to Mukherjee, India was ready to share more information with Pakistan if this was required to further its investigation into the 26/11 attack.

This is third consecutive day Mukherjee has asked Pakistan to reply to its dossier through diplomatic channels.

“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.

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.

Narayanan, however, rubbished the so-called clampdown on militant outfits like Jamaat-ud-Dawa and other terrorist organistaions based on its soil and underlined that they were being treated as house guests rather than detainees in Pakistan.

“I am not impressed very much with this. I mean training camps can be closed down and reopened at short notice at any time they like. Taking over of the sprawling Muridke campus and a few acres… it’s only a matter of time it will come back or it will come back somewhere else. I mean these are cosmetic exercises,” Narayanan said.

The US has, meanwhile, intensified its efforts to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice. Officials of Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) have requested Indian authorities to interrogate Fahim Arshad Ansari and Sabbauddin - two terrorists arrested earlier by the Uttar Pradesh Police and questioned by Mumbai Police in connection with the 26/11 terror strikes.

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