Pakistan denies State role in Mumbai terror attack
Armed with evidence gathered from arrested LeT terrorist Abu Jundal, India on Thursday made it clear that taking action against the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks will be the "biggest confidence-building measure of all" by Pakistan, which rejected involvement of its state agencies in the 26/11 carnage.
Pushing Pakistan to take action against the guilty in Mumbai attacks, New Delhi asserted that the ongoing interrogation of Jundal, the LeT handler of the terrorists who carried out Mumbai terror strikes, has added "urgency" to this matter.
"I emphasised that terrorism was the biggest threat to peace and security in the region and bringing the guilty to justice in the Mumbai terror attacks would be the biggest CBM of all....The ongoing interrogation of Abu Jundal has now added urgency to the matter.
"I did take up the matter with (Pakistan) foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and shared information with him," foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said at a joint press interaction with Jilani in New Delhi.
Noting that extensive information on perpetrators of 26/11 has been provided to Pakistan during home secretary-level talks in Islamabad in May, Mathai said, "We will continue to pursue this matter with determination to its logical conclusion."
Asked about Home Minister P Chidambaram's statement that Jundal's has revealed that Pakistan state actors were involved in the Mumbai attacks, Jilani said, "I would very strongly reject any insinuation of any involvement of any state agency in any acts of terrorism in India."
However, on Jundal's revelations that Pakistan was involved in Mumbai carnage which killed 166 people, Jilani said he has assured Mathai that whatever evidence that India has should be shared with Pakistan and it will investigate the matter. Pakistan is even willing to offer "a joint investigation" in the whole affair, Jilani said.
Noting that he has shared the outcome of the ongoing investigation of Jundal provided to MEA, Mathai said India was looking forward to Pakistan for taking action on the information "conveyed". Asked if Jundal's revelations will impact on the positive strides the Indo-Pak bilateral ties have made so far, Jilani said, "We hope not. There should definitely be no setback because setback is something we are not for."
Briefing reporters on their two-day parleys on peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir, including CBMs and promotion of friendly exchanges, Mathai and Jilani said both countries recognise that terrorism poses a continuing threat to peace and security in the region.
"They reaffirmed the strong commitment of the two countries to fight and eliminate terrorism in an effective and comprehensive manner so as to eliminate the scourge in all its forms and manifestations," a joint statement said.
It also said the foreign secretaries had a "comprehensive exchange of views on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and agreed to continue discussions in a purposeful and forward looking manner with the view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences."
The foreign secretaries were assisted by senior officials of both sides, including the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal and Pakistan's high commissioner-designate to India Salman Bashir.
India is also understood to have reiterated its concern over the slow pace of Mumbai terror attacks trial in Pakistan. The two sides also talked about confidence-building measures, including in trade and travel and nuclear fields.
They also decided to hold separate meetings of expert- level groups on nuclear and conventional CBMs to discuss implementation and strengthening of the existing CBMs and suggest additional mutually acceptable steps that could build greater trust and confidence between the two countries, thereby contributing to peace and security.
- Asian Tribune -