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India hands attack evidence to Pakistan
01-06-2009, 12:39 AM,
India hands attack evidence to Pakistan
India hands attack evidence to Pakistan

By James Lamont in New Delhi

Published: January 5 2009 18:24 | Last updated: January 5 2009 18:24

India on Monday confronted Pakistan with evidence about the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack, stepping up the pressure on its neighbour to bring Islamist militants to justice.

New Delhi also intensified international diplomatic influ­ence on Pakistan by sharing with other countries the evidence, which includes a confession by the lone surviving gunman, transcripts of conversations between terrorists, and weaponry.

Pranab Mukherjee, foreign minister, said: “What happened in Mumbai was an unpardonable crime . . . We ask only that [Pakistan] implement the bilateral commitments that it has made at the highest levels to India.”

New Delhi blames militants based in Pakistan for the November attack on its financial centre that killed 179 people and stunned its political and business leadership. But Islamabad disputes the attackers were Pakistani nationals and has refused India’s request to extradite terror suspects.

The dossier presented by the Indian foreign ministry to Pakistan’s high commissioner in New Delhi on Monday was the first evidence India has handed to Pakistan regarding the attack. Previously it had delivered only a list of 40 “most wanted” militants it wants arrested and tried in India.

David Mulford, US ambassador to New Delhi, said his country stood by India in its pursuit of those responsible for Mumbai and would present evidence gathered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to Pakistan.

The attack claimed the lives of six US citizens. Mr Mulford said: “Under our law, if Americans are killed the US itself has a duty to pursue all avenues to [get to] the bottom of it. The US will pursue this matter to its conclusion. Period.”

Palaniappan Chidam­ba­ram, India’s home minister, is to take the dossier to Washington later this week. He said at the weekend that the evidence pointed to “state actors” in Pakistan, saying the attack had the support of intelligence and commando expertise.

Pakistan said it would study the papers submitted by India.

A western diplomat in Islamabad said: “Just the fact that India calls this evidence, while Pakistan still chooses to use terms such as material or information, is very suggestive. India insists it has got hard evidence based on intercepts of communications between the gunmen and their handlers in Pakistan, but Pakistan insists this information can still not be treated as hard evidence which would stand in a court of law.”

Some Indian commentators warn the country is being sucked into a revival of hostility with Pakistan, with which it has fought three wars in 61 years.

Gurcharan Das, based in New Delhi, said adept Pakistani diplomacy since the Mumbai attack had led India back into a debilitating stand-off with its nuclear-armed neighbour. He said India should instead focus on its economic development and on China, the region’s powerhouse.

“There are many people in the south of India for whom Pakistan is a far away place who are saying ‘What is this all about?’,” said Mr Das.
01-06-2009, 09:57 PM,
India hands attack evidence to Pakistan
Thanks Nik, I am interested in whether this evidence will stand up. There was some strange goings on to do with that attack. There are some parties in India that stand to make great benefit from a Muslin attack.

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