India rules out joint probe, says will respond to Pakistan’s queries

February 23rd, 2009 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) Ruling out a joint probe into the Mumbai carnage, India Monday promised to respond to Pakistan’s queries related to the attacks but made it clear that the exchange of information can only take place through official channels.
“Whatever information we get from Pakistan, we will respond to it. But information must be made available through official channels and not through the media,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters here.

India is ready to cooperate with Pakistan “as and when it is necessary” in its investigation into the Mumbai attacks, Mukherjee said while referring to the material provided to Islamabad about Pakistani linkages to the Mumbai terror attacks.

“As far as joint investigation is concerned, I have told you we are having investigation,” he said.

Mukherjee’s remarks come amid speculation that a team of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency will visit India to pursue leads in the Mumbai atrocity that will help them to prosecute Pakistanis involved in the attacks.

Pakistan admitted Feb 12 that a part of the Mumbai conspiracy was hatched and executed by its nationals and arrested six Pakistani suspects. But Islamabad also raised 30 questions it wants India to answer to firm up evidence for prosecuting the suspects.

India has already made it clear that it is examining questions raised by Pakistan and will provide whatever information is possible.

The two sides discussed developments related to the Mumbai mayhem when Pakistan’s High Commissioner Shahid Malik met Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon here Monday. The high commissioner assured India that Pakistan will continue to cooperate to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice, official sources said.

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