Pak to examine Indian dossier before talks

Islamabad: Pakistan's Interior Ministry will examine the eleventh dossier handed over to Islamabad by India on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks ahead of a crucial meeting of the Foreign Secretaries to bridge the trust deficit between the two countries.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in a brief statement that arrangements were being made for "receipt of the material from New Delhi".

He said: "The material will be forwarded to the Interior Ministry for examination when received." Talking to a TV news channel, Basit said the Pakistan government is of the firm opinion that whosoever was involved in the Mumbai attacks should be punished.

"Pakistan is conducting the trial of the accused on its soil in a transparent and professional way and the recently extended evidence by Indian authorities would be analysed appropriately," he said.

India handed over the latest dossier yesterday, just six days before meeting between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir here to find ways to bridge the trust deficit between the two sides and to prepare the grounds for a meeting of the Foreign Ministers on July 15.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said the latest dossier contained a set of responses to the six dossiers received from Pakistan on April 25.

Sources said that besides the responses to queries raised by Pakistan, the dossier also provides additional information on those involved in the Mumbai attacks and evidence that they were operating from Pakistani soil.

The dossier also conveys India's "mounting unhappiness" with Pakistan's lack of "concrete action" against Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks.

In the dossiers given to India in April, Pakistan had asked for three Indian officials, including two magistrates and an investigator, to be allowed to travel to Pakistan to testify that they had recorded the statement of Ajmal Kasab, sentenced to death for the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan also sought access to Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the attacks, to facilitate the trial of Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six others charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

The seven suspects are being tried by an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi.