India gives Pakistan evidence over Mumbai attacks

>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009



6th January, 2009

NEW DELHI: India handed evidence Monday to Pakistan that it says links the deadly Mumbai attacks to Pakistani “elements” and called on authorities across the border to investigate further and help bring the culprits to justice.

India has blamed the November attacks that killed 164 people on Pakistani-based militants, but Pakistan has denied the accusations saying India had yet to provide proof.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon gave evidence to the Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi on Monday linking the attacks to “elements in Pakistan,” said Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The evidence included material from the interrogation of the lone surviving gunman, details of conversations between the gunmen and their alleged handlers in Pakistan, recovered weapons, and data from satellite phones.

“This material is linked to elements in Pakistan,” an official statement said. “It is our expectation that the government of Pakistan will promptly undertake further investigations in Pakistan and share the results with us so as to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Pakistani officials could not immediately be reached for comment. India has blamed the three-day siege on Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group based in Pakistan, where authorities have arrested at least two men accused of planning the attacks and launched a nationwide crackdown on a charity believed to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba.

India has called on Pakistan to hand over the suspects and dismantle the terror network they say is based across the border. Pakistani leaders say they will try any suspects in the attacks in their own courts.

In the wake of the attacks, tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals have been high, with Pakistan redeploying troops away from the Afghan border toward India. The two countries have fought three wars against each other since they gained independence in 1947.

But India has been careful not to blame the attacks on the Pakistani government, and Monday’s statement again accused “elements in Pakistan,” an apparent reference to militant groups.

Much of India’s evidence against the militants comes from interrogations of Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only gunmen to survive the attacks. He has reportedly told authorities that he and nine others were Pakistani, and that he was trained in Pakistan and that his handlers are still there.

Pakistan has said it has no record of Kasab as a Pakistani citizen.

The Mumbai attacks began Nov. 26 and lasted for nearly three days. The 10 gunmen attacked 10 sites across India’s financial capital, including two five-star hotels, the main train station, popular restaurants and a Jewish center.

Source: New Sabah Times.

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