Pakistan Reviews Indian File on Mumbai Attacks
By Anjana Pasricha
05 January 2009
India says it has handed over evidence linking Islamic militants based in Pakistan to the deadly terror attacks in Mumbai. India accuses a Pakistan based terror group of carrying out the attacks which killed about 170 people, but Islamabad denies it.
Calling the terror attacks in Mumbai "an unpardonable crime", India Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee expressed hope Monday that Islamabad will act on evidence New Delhi says supports its charge that "elements in Pakistan" were behind the November attacks.
"As far as the government of Pakistan is concerned, we ask only that it implement the bilateral commitments that it has made at the highest levels to India and practices her international obligations," he said.
In November, gunmen stormed hotels and several other locations in Mumbai killing and injuring hundreds. India says the attacks were planned and carried out by a banned Pakistan-based Islamic militant group called the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The evidence India has handed over to substantiate the charge includes material from the interrogation of a gunman who India says is a Pakistani citizen. It also includes details of conversations between the gunmen and their alleged handlers in Pakistan, as well as data recovered from satellite phones and weapons.
India hoped that Pakistan will conduct a prompt investigation so that the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack can be brought to justice. Islamabad has promised to cooperate in the investigation and act on the evidence once it is handed over.
India is simultaneously mounting a diplomatic offensive to pressure Islamabad to crack down on terror groups. The evidence presented to Pakistan has also been given to envoys from several countries, including the United Sates.
The U.S. Ambassador to India, David Mulford, told reporters in New Delhi the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also investigating the attacks and will take that evidence to Pakistan.
"The United States will pursue this matter to its conclusion," he said. "Period."
India's former foreign secretary, Lalit Mansingh, says New Delhi hopes that sharing "cold, hard evidence" with allies like the United States will put pressure on Islamabad to crack down on terror groups.
"Because even though India does not have the diplomatic leverage, there are countries which do have a great deal of influence on Pakistan, primarily the United States," said Mansingh. "So Pakistan will have to listen to the international community."
The terror attacks in Mumbai have raised tensions between India and Pakistan, and a peace process between the two countries is now on hold.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|