Pakistan says Kasab didn’t use sea route; India slams doublespeak (Roundup)February 27th, 2009 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi/Islamabad, Feb 27 (IANS) Rejecting Pakistan’s contention that the Mumbai attackers did not use the sea route to sneak into the city, India Friday slammed Pakistan’s “duplicity and denial” and indicated it will reply to Islamabad’s queries on 26/11 as early as next week.
India also objected to any military aid being given to Pakistan, saying this should be linked to demonstrable action against terror outfits.
In a fresh spin, Pakistan Friday said that Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman caught alive in the Mumbai terror strike, didn’t take the sea route to the Indian port city - a suggestion that was rejected by two Indian ministers who accused Islamabad of speaking in different voices.
“There is no proof that Kasab took the sea route,” Pakistani Navy chief Admiral Noman Bashir said at a press conference in Islamabad.
“I am sure somebody else will refute him tomorrow,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram retorted at a press conference in New Delhi.
Alluding to the list 30 questions posed by Pakistan in connection with the Mumbai attacks, Chidamabaram said New Delhi will reply next seek and may seek more information from Islamabad to carry forward the process of bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage to justice.
“We are formulating the answers to the questions raised by Pakistan. Many of the answers are contained in the charge sheet filed by Mumbai Police which is a public document,” Chidambaram said.
“When I am satisfied with the answer. I feel by next week I will be satisfied,” he said when asked when the reply to 30 questions posed by Pakistan on the Mumbai attacks in response to India’s dossiers would be ready, he said
Chidambaram also said New Delhi may seek more information from Islamabad about the Nov 26-29, 2008 terror attacks.
“Just as Pakistan has asked some questions, in the course of time we may also wish to seek information from Pakistan. We will see as we go along,” he said.
“Pakistan has often spoken in different voices (on the Mumbai carnage),” Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said at a press conference that preceded Chidambaram’s.
“This multiple speak, duplicity and denial has created confusion. They (the Pakistani leadership) have to decide to speak in one voice,” Sharma maintained.
“Once having accepted a fact, it is better to take that to its logical conclusion,” Sharma added.
Asked to comment on Bashir’s statement that the Mumbai attacks pointed to the failure of the Indian Navy in maintaining vigil, Chidambaram said: “I don’t need certificates or appreciation from the Pakistani Navy.”
“I have said in parliament there have been lapses and these will be plugged,” the Indian home minister added.
Bashir, at his press conference, admitted that patrolling the waters on the Pakistani side of the international border off the Gujarat coast was “difficult” due to the dispute over the Sir Creek.
Alluding to a move by the US to give military aid to Pakistan, Sharma said: I don’t think it should be getting military aid unless it takes demonstrable action against dismantling terrorist infrastructure,” he said.
India says Kasab and nine other Pakistanis had set sail from Karachi, hijacked a trawler after entering Indian waters and finally used a rubber boat to sneak into Mumbai Nov 26, 2008 and embarked on a killing spree that lasted over 60 hours.
Kasab is now in the custody of the Mumbai Police, which Wednesday filed a chargesheet naming him and 34 others, all of them operatives of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, for the Mumbai carnage that claimed the lives of more than 170 people.
Kasab is also one of the eight men named in a case registered by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency on the Mumbai attacks.
The case was registered Feb 12 on the day Interior Minister Rehman Malik admitted that part of the Mumbai conspiracy was hatched on Pakistani soil.