Now, Pak wants legally tenable evidence on 26/11

Last Updated: Friday, August 7, 2009 - 17:35

Islamabad: A week after India handed over
a fresh dossier on the 26/11 strikes, Pakistan on Friday said New
Delhi should provide "legally tenable evidence" to help
Islamabad prosecute the persons arrested in connection with
the audacious attacks on Mumbai.

"India should help in providing legally tenable
evidence so that it is easy for us to take the prosecution to
its logical conclusion," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

He was responding to a question on charges traded by
the two countries on information provided by India on the
Mumbai attacks.

"They (India) want the pace of prosecution to be
speeded up. We are telling them that our courts are
independent, and we have our own legal procedure which we have
to follow," he said.

His comments come a week after India handed over a
fourth set of dossier to Pakistan containing detailed
information about the investigation and legal evidence
regarding the attacks carried out by Pakistan-based
Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit.

Five Lashker-e-Taiba operatives – including operations
commander Zaikur Rehman Lakhvi and communications expert Zarar
Shah – are currently being tried by an anti-terror court for
allegedly facilitating and executing the Mumbai attacks.

Qureshi said the prosecution and defence would present
their arguments in the anti-terror court, which would then
decide if the suspects are guilty. "As far as the prosecution
is concerned, legally tenable evidence is needed," he said.

In recent days, the two countries have traded charges
over the dossiers and information provided by India on the
attacks. India has insisted that it has provided enough
evidence for Pakistan to act against the LeT and its founder
Hafiz Mohammed Saeed.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said yesterday
that Pakistan could not take legal action against Saeed on the
basis of information provided so far by India.

Qureshi said the two countries were yet to decide on a
date and venue for the next meeting between their Foreign
Secretaries.

The Foreign Secretaries would report to the Foreign
Ministers, who would meet in New York on the sidelines of the
UN General Assembly in September, he said.

He also said Pakistan was not being "defensive" on the
issue of alleged Indian interference in Balochistan province.
"On the issue of Balochistan, the Foreign Office believes
diplomatic channels should be used...I want to take this issue
to a conclusion," he said.

Evidence about alleged Indian interference could be
disclosed at the right time, Qureshi added.

Earlier, addressing the seminar, Qureshi said the
joint statement issued after the meeting between Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart
Manmohan Singh in Egypt last month "reaffirms Pakistan`s
commitment to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to
justice".

The joint statement also "acknowledges that terror is
the main threat to both countries and affirms their resolve to
cooperate with each other", he said.

Bureau Report



First Published: Friday, August 7, 2009 - 17:35

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