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Pakistan wants Indians to testify in its courts: Envoy

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington: Claiming that Pakistan policy of supporting some terrorist groups has changed, its ambassador here says Islamabad has asked India to send its officials to testify before Pakistani courts to help convict those responsible for Mumbai attacks.

“The individuals who were responsible for the Mumbai attack are all now under arrest,” Pakistan’s ambassador to US Husain Haqqani told CNN Sunday when asked about Pakistan’s lack of action against Lashkar-e Taeba (LeT) terror group behind the Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai attack.

“And we have requested our Indian neighbours to provide us with evidence in the sense of allowing Indian officials who have knowledge of this matter, to travel to Pakistan and give evidence in our court,” he said. “And we will be able to complete the prosecution process and convict these people.”

When the interviewer suggested “This is, frankly, if it happens, a big change in Pakistani policy”, Haqqani said: “Well, look, Pakistani policy changed very clearly, even after 9/11. It started changing. I think the changes are in much faster gear now.

“Our military leadership, our intelligence leadership, and our civilian leadership are all on the same page,” he said.

Haqqani acknowledged “Pakistan’s history has given a lot of people reason for cynicism about democracy, about our relations with our neighbours, about relations with the United States.”

“But in this environment of cynicism I think we need to be very clear about one thing. Pakistan as a nation can have a good future only if we resolve our problems in our neighbourhood, our neighbours are reasonable about it, the United States support this process of transformation, and Pakistan emerges as a democracy.”

“Pakistan wants to play well with the world, and that is where our future lies,” he said.

Asked about whistleblower WikiLeaks revelations about “Pakistan’s double game” of its spy agency working directly with the Afghan Taliban, Haqqani cited President Barack Obama to suggest “there is nothing in these entries that we haven’t heard before.”

“The important thing is that over the last two years Pakistan and the United States have entered into a special collaborative relationship,” he said.

Pakistan was aware of historic concerns and was addressing them, Haqqani said. “And I can say with a great degree of comfort now that the Pakistani intelligence services are working effectively to contain all terrorists, including Taliban from Afghanistan and from Pakistan.”

“These allegations are not necessarily reflective of what is happening today,” he said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])