Pakistani cabinet’s defence panel discusses Mumbai report (Lead)

February 9th, 2009 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Feb 9 (IANS) The Pakistani cabinet’s defence coordination committee Monday discussed a report on the Mumbai attacks but it was not immediately clear when this would be shared with India.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani presided over the meeting.

Perhaps keeping in mind the umbrage India has taken over the leaks about the report, no Pakistani official or media outlet was willing to comment on the report’s contents, even as an Indian TV news channel said Islamabad’s investigations into the Mumbai attacks were planned outside Pakistan.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has prepared the report on the basis of a dossier provided by India pointing to the involvement of elements from this country in the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai carnage that claimed more than 170 lives, including those of 26 foreigners, and injured over 300.

The interior and law ministries have already vetted the report.

Gilani has previously said the report would be shared with India Monday or Tuesday, there were indications here this could be delayed due to the presence in Islamabad of US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke.

Holbrooke will hold talks Tuesday with Pakistan on the situation along its troubled frontier with Afghanistan where it is battling Al Qaeda and Taliban militants.

On Monday, there were reports that the FIA had arrested three men in Karachi for their alleged involvement with Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the Mumbai attacks and who is now in police custody.

“A source privy to the matter disclosed that intelligence agencies had taken the men into custody from different areas of Karachi in connection with their alleged affiliation with Kasab,” Daily Times reported Monday.

“They were reportedly taken to Islamabad and an investigation was in progress,” the newspaper said, adding the arrests were made by the FIA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies.

India has blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group for the Mumbai mayhem. New Delhi has also blamed the same group for the Dec 13, 2001 attack on the Indian parliament.

Pakistan had banned the LeT after the parliament attack, after which it morphed into the Jamaat-ud Daawa (JuD) that claimed to be a charitable organisation.

Last December, in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, the UN had proscribed the JuD, following which the security forces sealed its offices in Pakistani-administered Kashmir and in the Punjab province.

The authorities have also arrested LeT commanders Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarrar Shah who India has accused of planning the Mumbai carnage and whose extradition New Delhi has sought.

Pakistan has flatly refused to hand over any terror suspects, saying those against whom evidence existed would be tried in this country.

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