Pakistan could charge 125 for Mumbai attacks


Islamabad : Pakistan could prosecute as many as 125 people for their alleged role in the Mumbai terror attacks – but none of the top suspects India has named figure in the list, a media report said.

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The group, including “anyone who made any suspicious contacts inside India as the attacks began”, would be charged under Pakistan’s cyber crimes laws because the suspects used Internet phones to communicate, ABC News quoted an unidentified intelligence official as saying.

“But few if any of the major terrorist leaders India is asking Pakistan to prosecute are included on this list,” the official said.

ABC News said this reflected the delicate balance Pakistan was trying to achieve: “Appeasing international pressure to crack down on terrorists who have operated from its soil, and at the same time not completely dismantling groups that the intelligence agencies still see as assets.”

India has blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba for the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai mayhem that claimed the lives of more than 170 people, including 26 foreigners, and injured more than 300.

India Jan 5 submitted a detailed dossier to Pakistan pointing to the involvement of elements from its country in the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Sunday the Federal Investigation Agency had examined the dossier and had submitted a report that would soon be shared with India through diplomatic channels.

On Tuesday, Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi Shahid Malik was summoned here for a briefing on Islamabad’s probe into the Mumbai attacks.

“He was called to Islamabad for holding important consultation with the officials of the foreign and interior ministries in connection with the Mumbai attacks,” The News said Tuesday, quoting foreign office sources.

“Pakistan raised certain questions before Indian officials in connection with Mumbai attacks and now the Indian government has provided answers to the same,” it added.

Malik was called to Islamabad for “reviewing the Indian replies and holding consultation”, The News said, adding: “The documents that Pakistan would prepare in the light of the Indian information would be handed over to Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Satyaprata Pal.”

Also on Tuesday, India termed Pakistan the “epicentre” of global terrorism and urged it to act with “sincerity and decisiveness” against the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage.

“Pakistan has become the epicentre of international terrorism,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony declared in New Delhi while inaugurating the 11th Asian Security Conference.

Noting that the positive gains of the past few years had been “destroyed” by the “dastardly” Mumbai attack, the minister said: “That major attacks of large magnitude can be planned and executed by elements in Pakistan totally undermines the solemn commitments to us made by its leadership that territory in its control would not be permitted to be used for terrorism.”