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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

At home, 26/11 exchange with Pak continues

HT Political Bureau , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 01, 2009
First Published: 16:35 IST(1/8/2009) | Last Updated: 02:03 IST(2/8/2009)

India on Saturday handed over its response to the third set of questions sent by Pakistan on the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Addressing a press conference, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram also insisted there was "enough evidence" to continue the probe against mastermind Hafeez Saeed.

<b1>The minister said Islamabad had only raised "routine questions... fill-in-the-blanks kind of questions where they are asking for information that is already there, asking for answers to questions that can easily be found if someone read our civil procedure code".

Within an hour of the announcement, TCA Raghavan, joint secretary (Pakistan) at the Ministry of External Affairs, called Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Rifat Masood and handed over the seven-page response with annexures running into 60 pages.

Islamabad has refused to move against Saeed, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief, saying he cannot be arrested till "adequate proof is provided". Saeed was placed under house arrest in December 2008 after Jamaat was declared a terrorist group.

The high court let him off in June, saying there was no evidence to hold him. But Chidambaram said: “There is enough evidence to continue the probe against Saeed.”

Earlier this week, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik had asked India to provide “substantiated evidence”.

This stance — coming just weeks after Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that his government would do everything in its power to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice — had raised questions on Islamabad’s intent.

Nirupama Rao, who took over as Foreign Secretary on Saturday, said: “We will wait for Pakistan to examine the evidence provided in the dossier and we expect a meaningful response from Pakistan.”


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