Pakistan says no confession in Mumbai probe
ISLAMABAD (AFP) Pakistan denied reports Thursday that a militant
arrested last month had confessed to involvement in the Mumbai
attacks, saying no conclusions could be made until investigations are
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing unnamed officials,
that authorities had obtained a confession from a key leader of the
banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India has blamed for the
carnage in Mumbai.
The suspect, Zarar Shah, allegedly told investigators he had played a
key role in the planning of the deadly attacks that left 172 dead --
a story the unnamed security official said was backed up by US
intercepts of phone calls.
But Pakistani interior ministry spokesman Shahidullah Baig told
AFP: "We have no such information. We don't accept that report."
Pakistani police arrested Shah and another key LeT operative, Zaki-ur-
Rehman Lakhvi, in the wake of the attacks as part of a series of
raids against the Islamic charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, widely seen as
LeT's political wing.
Their arrests came after the United Nations Security Council
classified Jamaat-ud-Dawa as a terrorist organisation, obliging UN
member states to freeze its assets and leading Islamabad to arrest
several senior figures.
A senior government official told AFP Thursday that no conclusions
could be drawn from Pakistan's investigations until India shares key
evidence with Islamabad about the attacks.
The official, who asked not to be named, added that New Delhi has
stated that its probe is ongoing.
Indian media reports have said that Lakhvi chose the team of 10
gunmen that perpetrated the attacks, while Shah allegedly arranged
SIM cards and satellite phones used in the November 26-29 siege on
India's financial capital.
"When asked about the outcome of Pakistan's own investigation into
the Mumbai attacks, foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq
said: "We are currently engaged in the process of our own
He added:"We also await evidence from India to enable our own
investigations to make progress."
India hopes Pakistan will hand over Mumbai masterminds
By Jawed Naqvi
NEW DELHI, Jan 3: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealed to
Pakistan on Saturday to have the "sense to root out terrorism from
its soil" and also hoped that Islamabad would extradite the
masterminds of the Mumbai attacks that New Delhi says have found
shelter across the border.
"We are committed to rooting out terrorism and we sincerely hope that
better sense will prevail with Pakistan," Dr Singh told journalists
in the northeastern town of Shillong.
To keep the pressure on Islamabad to bring the alleged fugitives to
Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram said he was planning to visit
Washington within a week, reportedly with "proof" of Pakistan's
culpability in Mumbai's terror attacks. He is expected to meet senior
security officials and key advisers to the Obama transition team.
"It (Pakistan) has to take action on the demand from all civilised
countries that the perpetrators (of Mumbai attacks) will be brought
to book," Dr Singh said at a news conference after inaugurating a
science conference in Shillong. "We hope that these criminals will be
handed over to us to face trial."
The prime minister also hoped that the new government in Bangladesh
would not allow its territory to be used for terrorist acts against
India, especially in the northeast.
"The growing menace of terrorism and Naxalism is a cause of worry.
The government will not compromise with terrorism," Dr Singh
said. "There were some initial setbacks, but we will overcome them.
The government will go to any extent to root out terrorism from the
Meanwhile, Press Trust of India said as part of efforts "to drum up
international pressure for nailing Islamabad's lies", Mr Chidambaram
would travel to Washington next week "armed with evidence about
involvement of Pakistan-based terrorists in the Mumbai attacks".
"I will be going to the US next week. The dates are being finalised,"
PTI quoted Mr Chidambaram as saying.
Asked about his mission, he said the Indian foreign ministry has
prepared dossiers on evidence relating to Mumbai attacks and he would
discuss them with his interlocutors in Washington. Details are being
finalised, Mr Chidambaram said.
PTI said Mr Chidambaram is expected to meet US Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff and possibly Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice. A meeting with members of transition team of
President-elect Barack Obama is also likely.
"Chidambaram's discussions with American leaders could cover a broad
ambit, including the steps taken by the Bush Administration in the
aftermath of 9/11 attacks after a lot of critical self-appraisal,"
US ambassador to India David C. Mulford on Saturday met Mr
Chidambaram, apparently to tie up details regarding his visit.
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said India will share
evidence regarding the role of Pakistan-based elements with the world
community, which he feels should do more to ensure that perpetrators
of the Mumbai attacks are brought to justice.
"The evidence, the Indian government has put together, includes the
confession of the lone Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist held in Mumbai
terror attack, Mr Ajmal Amir Kasab," PTI said. "The evidence will
Kasab's confession to the police wherein he has given details of how
he became a motivated terrorist of Lashkar-e-Taiba from a normal
youth of Faridkot in Pakistan's Punjab province."
Also included in the dossier are records of logbook recovered from
the vessel in which the 10 terrorists are alleged to have come from
Karachi, records of satellite phone used by the attackers and
transcript of conversations between the attackers and their handlers
in Pakistan, sources told PTI.
The dossier also includes the corroborative evidence tracking the
journey of the attackers from Karachi to Mumbai, they said.
PTI said investigators have found evidence to show that the
terrorists, who struck at the Taj Hotel, Trident Hotel and Nariman
House on November 26, were in touch with their handlers in Karachi
even while their three-day engagement with security forces was on.
The evidence will be shared with Pakistan along with the United
States, Britain, China and other countries that have influence on
Islamabad, PTI said.
Officers from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation have already
questioned Mr Kasab, the lone surviving Lashkar-e-Taiba militant
involved in the November 26 strikes, to ascertain his role and those
of his handlers in Pakistan.
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