India to share Mumbai bombs evidence with Pakistan
Sun Oct 1, 2006 4:05 AM ET
By Y.P. Rajesh
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India said on Sunday it would give Pakistan evidence
found by its investigators linking Pakistan's spy agency and an Islamist
militant group based there to deadly bomb blasts in Mumbai that killed 186
people in July.
The comments by India's new foreign secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon, came a day
after police in Mumbai, the country's financial hub, said they had solid proof
that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency had masterminded the
Police said the serial blasts on rush-hour commuter trains and crowded station
platforms had been executed by Lashkar-e-Taiba using its Pakistani and Indian
operatives as well as members of an outlawed hard-line Indian Muslim students'
"We will judge them not by immediate reactions or verbal statements (but) by
what they actually do about terrorism," Menon told reporters after taking
"It seems to me logical that the mechanism has to deal with this kind of
evidence," he added, referring to a bilateral agreement to set up a joint
agency to tackle terrorism.
Pakistan and Lashkar have both rejected the Indian accusations. A Pakistani
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman called them baseless and irresponsible.
Tariq Azim Khan, Pakistan's Minister of State for Information, said Islamabad
would investigate the allegations if New Delhi shared its evidence.
Mumbai police chief A.N. Roy said on Saturday at least 12 Indian men and 11
Pakistanis had been involved in the bombings.
Many of the Indians alleged to have been involved had visited Pakistan several
times and trained at Lashkar bases in Bahawalpur town in Punjab province,
close to the Indian frontier, he said.
TEST FOR JOINT AGENCY
One of the Pakistani men brought over about 15-20 kg (33-44 lbs) of RDX
explosives to make the bombs in Mumbai, and funds to stage the attack came
from Pakistan via a Lashkar operative in Saudi Arabia, Roy said.
The South Asian rivals agreed to set up the joint agency on terrorism after
talks between Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of a Non-Aligned summit in Havana two weeks
The two leaders also agreed to resume a peace process which India had frozen
following the Mumbai attacks.
The agency has come in for strong criticism from Indian opposition parties and
most security experts even before its formation.
Indian critics say that a similar counter-terrorism mechanism was already in
place and had failed to make any progress and they did not see how this one
would be different.
Islamabad could not be expected to act against its own military spy agency
which New Delhi blames for many violent attacks and subversive activities
across the country, they say.
Some Indian analysts, however, say that the mechanism needs to be tested and
the Mumbai bombings are a fitting case.
Menon, who was India's envoy to Pakistan before being named foreign secretary
and is seen as one of the architects of the joint panel, defended it.
"We will judge its success or its failure by how it deals with it (terrorism)
and what actions Pakistan takes on terrorism," he said.