India asks Pakistan to give direct response to dossier

January 16th, 2009 - 12:39 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) India Thursday snubbed Pakistan’s demand for more information about the Mumbai terror attack, saying it had handed over the dossier 10 days ago and asked Islamabad to give a “direct response” through diplomatic channels.India also indicated for the first time that it was ready to accept the trial of fugitives, suspected of involvement in the Mumbai carnage and terrorist attacks, in Pakistan.

“The material linking the terrorist attacks to Pakistan was handed over formally to the Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi Jan 5,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters, in response to comments by Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

“In stead of being informed through the media, I would be happy to receive a direct response from Pakistan through existing diplomatic channels, and to see Pakistan implementing her words,” he said.

Malik, a top aide to President Asif Ali Zardari, Thursday repeated Islamabad’s call for a joint investigation into the Mumbai carnage and urged India to hand over more information to assist Pakistan’s own probe into the incident.

“We are fully committed to help India in this investigation,” Malik said. “We have to prove to the world that India and Pakistan stand together against the terrorists because they are the common enemies.”

Malik also said Pakistani investigating agencies would “inquire into” the information provided by India “to try to transform it to evidence, evidence which can stand the test of any court in the world and of course our own court of law.”

New Delhi has indicated that it is ready to accept the trial of fugitives in the neighbouring country.

“It would be ideal if they (Pakistan government) can hand over the fugitives,” Mukherjee told Indian news channel Aaj Tak Wednesday. “If that is not possible, there should at least be a fair trial of these fugitives in Pakistan.”

India had handed Pakistan a dossier of evidence Jan 5 that included information on interrogations, weapons made in Pakistan and details of conversations over satellite phones between the terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan.

Pakistan is yet to formally respond to the 26/11 dossier.

In a statement to the National Assembly, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani rubbished the dossier saying it was merely information and not evidence.

Underscoring New Delhi’s growing wariness with Pakistan’s continuing pattern of evasiveness and denial, Mukherjee Wednesday said India was still awaiting a response and underlined that statements by Pakistani leaders only reinforced its doubts about Islamabad’s capacity to act against terror.

”Pakistan must fully implement its international obligations under various legal instruments on terrorism,” he stressed.

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