US envoy asked Washington to talk India out of sharing info

US envoy to Pakistan Anne Patterson had asked her government to talk India out of its plans to release information on investigation into Mumbai terror attacks of 2008.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2011, 19:47 PM IST

New Delhi: US envoy to Pakistan Anne
Patterson had asked her government to talk India out of its
plans to release information on investigation into Mumbai
terror attacks of 2008, expressing concerns that it may lead
to forestalling further Indo-Pak cooperation.
"We are concerned that the Indians` premature public
dissemination of this information will undermine essential law
enforcement efforts and forestall further Indo-Pak
cooperation. Our goal is not only to bring the perpetrators of
this attack to justice but also to begin a dialogue that will
reduce tensions between India and Pakistan," Patterson was
quoted as saying in a diplomatic cable from Islamabad.

The cable, leaked by Wikileaks today, was sent just two
days ahead of the meeting the then Foreign Secretary
Shivshankar Menon had with the US Ambassador David Mulford and
fourteen other ambassadors on January 5, 2009, in which he had
shared a dossier of evidence linking the Mumbai terrorist
attacks to Pakistan.

"We believe it is premature for the Indians to be
considering a broad dissemination of information on the attack
until the investigation has been completed. In this regard, we
note that the FBI has just presented a long list of
information it is still seeking from the Indians to advance
its own investigation.

"Most importantly, we believe there are still Lashkar-
e-Taiba (LeT) sleeper and other cells in India, Nepal,
Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as many law enforcement leads
which need to be pursued. To prevent another potential attack,
we need to keep channels of cooperation and information
sharing open," the then US Envoy to Pakistan had said.

She was also concerned that India`s action would
"personally undermine" Pakistan`s ISI Director General Shuja
Pasha, who had approved the sharing of tearline information on
Pakistan`s investigation with Indian intelligence, after
assurances from CIA that information would be tightly held in
intelligence channels only.
"Gaining Government of Pakistan (GOP) approval for this
release was a significant step forward for the Pakistanis.
But... the question of information sharing may be overtaken by
events.

"If Pasha is embarrassed by what is essentially public
dissemination without the Indians providing the results of
their own investigation to Pakistan, it will undercut
Pakistan`s ability to pursue its investigation, generate a
public backlash in Pakistan and could undermine Pasha
personally," the cable said.

"Therefore, we believe (State) Department should urge the
Government of India to delay the release of information about
their investigation until intelligence and law enforcement
sharing with the Government of Pakistan (and with us) has been
able to move forward," Patterson said.

PTI