Direct access to Headley in 30 days? Govt preparing letter
India is expected to get access to Lashkar-e Taiba operative David Headley within 30 days of sending a letter of request, which is being prepared, government indicated in New Delhi on Monday.delhi Updated: Apr 05, 2010 21:32 IST
India is expected to get access to Lashkar-e Taiba operative David Headley within 30 days of sending a letter of request, which is being prepared, government indicated in New Delhi on Monday.
The indication came as US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer met Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi and said the issue of access to Headley was being dealt with at the highest level in the Obama administration.
Government sources said the letter, to be sent to the US, is being prepared and access is expected to be given within 30 days after they receive it.
India has been seeking access to Headley, a Pakistani-origin American, to unravel all details of his activities regarding the 26/11 attacks and plans for further strikes in this country.
The US has shared with India a lot of information based on his interrogation but has so far refused access to him, citing its legal difficulties.
Headley recently entered into a plea bargain with the US government under which he offered to present himself for access through video conferencing, deposition or Letters Rogatory (official request).
"I just had a very successful meeting with the Home Minister where I talked about working very closely for cooperation with government of India and government of US on counter-terrorism issues," Roemer told reporters after the meeting.
On US granting access to Headley, he said, "This is an issue that is being taken up at the highest levels of the US government day and night constantly."
He said it was in the interest of both India and the US to work together to protect common people from attacks wherever may they come from.
"As former commissioner of 9/11 probe, somebody who has experienced loss of life, we lost 3000 people, we empathised here in Mumbai with Indian people the tragic loss of life here and we want to make sure that justice is brought forward to all those involved in that kind of attack," Roemer said.
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao yesterday said the Home Ministry and related agencies are in touch with their US counterparts over the access issue and "we are satisfied with the progress these negotiations have made".