India Gives Pakistan Findings From Mumbai Probe, Urges Action Against Suspects
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
NEW DELHI, Jan. 5 -- India handed over to Pakistan on Monday key findings from its investigations into the deadly November attacks in Mumbai and said it expected credible action against those named in the report "as quickly as possible."
India's foreign secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon, said that the material in the detailed dossier of evidence ties the gunmen who carried out the attacks to "elements in Pakistan" and added that Islamabad was obliged to extradite those responsible.
[Stepping up the rhetoric, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in the capital Tuesday that the sophistication of the Mumbai attacks means they "must have had the support of some official agencies in Pakistan," the Associated Press reported.
[Singh did not directly name any Pakistani officials at the meeting with top officials of Indian states, AP reported, but India has long accused Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, of a role in attacks against India in recent years.]
At a news conference Monday, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee called the three-day siege, in which more than 170 people were killed, an "unpardonable" act, and he urged Pakistan's government to honor its promise to crack down on groups that foment violence against India.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said India hopes the government in Islamabad will "undertake further investigations in Pakistan and share the results with us so as to bring the perpetrators to justice."
India has accused the banned Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-i-Taiba of planning and directing the assault on two luxury hotels, a train station, a Jewish cultural center and other sites in Mumbai. Six Americans were among those killed. Pakistan has offered to participate in a joint probe and detained several members of the group -- steps that India has dismissed as cosmetic.
Indian officials said the file given to Pakistan contains material from the extensive interrogation of the lone surviving gunman in the siege, Ajmal Amir Kasab, who is in Indian custody. It also includes detailed information on communications between the gunmen and "elements in Pakistan during the Mumbai attack," recovered weapons and equipment, and data retrieved from the Global Positioning System equipment and satellite phones that police found on the boat used by the 10 gunmen to enter Mumbai on Nov. 26, the officials said.
Mohammed Sadiq, a spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, said authorities in Islamabad are reviewing the evidence and declined to comment further, AP reported.
Menon said at a news conference Monday evening that under a South Asian agreement on terrorism, Pakistan is "obliged to extradite" anyone found to have engaged in acts of terrorism.
On Monday, the Indian Foreign Ministry also began briefing representatives of "friendly governments" and countries that lost citizens in the assault about its findings, Menon said.
Menon did not answer directly when asked whether Indian investigators had found a serving officer of the Pakistani government playing any role in the planning of the attacks. But he said it was hard to believe that an operation on such a scale "could occur without anybody anywhere in the establishment knowing that this was happening."