Pakistan sets mid-March deadline for Mumbai queriesFebruary 25th, 2009 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Feb 25 (IANS) Pakistan’s interior ministry has asked the foreign office to convey to India that it needs to reply by mid-March to the 30 queries on the Mumbai attacks Islamabad had submitted in response to New Delhi’s dossier pointing to the involvement of elements from this country in the carnage.
This deadline is likely to be communicated to India during the meeting of its Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon with his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir on the sidelines of the ongoing SAARC ministerial conference in Colombo, a foreign office official said.
“It is crucial in the interest of the case that the Indian authorities promptly respond to the queries and clarifications sought through the diplomatic channels on February 12,” the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency, the country’s premier law enforcement outfit, was quoted as having told Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
Acting on the FIA’s request, Malik asked the foreign office to immediately bring to the notice of the Indian government that the reply to the 30 questions and further evidence should be provided before mid-March.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had, over the weekend, told mediapersons that Pakistan’s progress in its investigations into the Mumbai attacks depended on India’s reply to the 30 questions.
The questions sought further information about the Mumbai attackers, including fingerprints and DNA samples of the 10 gunmen who participated in the assault. Additionally, Pakistan has sought clarifications on some of the information India had mentioned in its dossier to Pakistan.
Pakistan has registered a case against eight people for their alleged involvement in the Mumbai mayhem. Of them six, including Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah of the Laskhar-e-Taiba terror group, and the main facilitator of the attack, Hamad Amin Sadiq, have been arrested.
The seventh suspect is Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the Nov 26-29, 2008 attacks. The eighth suspect is still at large.
Tags: bashir, diplomatic channels, dna samples, federal investigation, foreign office, indian authorities, indian government, interior minister, interior ministry, investigation agency, mehmood, menon, mid march, ministerial conference, qureshi, rehman, sadiq, taiba, terro, terror group