Pakistan assures envoys of fair probe into Mumbai attack

By Muhammad Najeeb, IANS,

Islamabad : Pakistan Monday assured the foreign envoys based in Islamabad of fair and transparent investigations into the Mumbai terror attacks.

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The envoys from almost all major countries, including India, were present in the briefing that was given by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Interior Ministry advisor Rehman Malik.

Officials said that several envoys also asked questions to both Qureshi and Malik about the investigations being carried out by Pakistan.

“The envoys were told that Pakistan will not hand over any of the suspects named by India, but assured them of fair and transparent investigations that would lead to fair trial in the country,” said the official.

The official said that the briefing started from “the day when attacks were carried out in Mumbai and in almost over an hour the envoys were told each and every thing till today.”

The briefing was based on the finding by Pakistani law enforcement agencies so far on the “information” provided by India.

During the briefing, Pakistani minister and advisor repeatedly said that they require more “information” and “evidence” from the Indian authorities.

Qureshi also called upon the envoys to urge India to resume the composite dialogue without any delay. “We believe all problems can be resolved through bilateral talks,” the official quoted a minister as telling the foreign envoys.

The interior ministry has already formed a team of experts to investigate the Mumbai attacks in the light of the information provided by India.

New Delhi has blamed militants based in Pakistan for the Mumbai terror attacks Nov 26-29 in which over 170 people were killed.

Malik said that his ministry has already directed the authorities to complete the investigations within ten days.

“We are trying our best to complete the investigations as soon as possible but we expect that India would cooperate with us in this regard,” said the Malik.

In response to a question about the deadline for completing the investigation and India’s demand for speedy investigations, Malik said that it would be difficult to give exact deadline but the initial report will be submitted within ten days.

He said that Pakistan is cooperating with India wholeheartedly, and it is ready to take action against the culprits, if proved guilty of the charges being levelled by India.

The foreign minister said investigations were moving forward according to specific strategy and Pakistan would try to satisfy India about these investigations.

Qureshi said Pakistan wants peace. However, if a war is imposed, it would retaliate.