India on Friday handed over answers to 30 questions raised by Pakistan over last November’s “horrific terror attacks” in Mumbai, saying the evidence provided by India gave Islamabad a “solid basis” to quickly act on the evidence and apprehend the culprits.
“We expect Pakistan to take the investigation forward, apprehend all the culprits and either hand them to Indian over to India for prosecution and punishment or to punish and prosecute them in Pakistan,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram declared soon after handing the home ministry’s responses to foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Minutes later, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon met Pakistan’s High Commissioner Shahid Malik and handed over India’s replies. The second dossier — the first was handed over in January — include telephone conversations of the attackers and their Pakistan-based handlers, fingerprints and other details of the terrorists who struck in Mumbai besides forensic analysis of global Positioning System, ammunition and other equipment used by the terrorists.
Islamabad had raised 30 questions on the dossier, saying it needed the answers to be able to move forward in its probe. Chidambaram underlined that New Delhi’s answers were “very comprehensive” and supported by documentary evidence including evidence contained in compact discs and forensic analysis reports of the accused.
“It answers every question. Answers have been supported by documentary evidence,” Chidambaram said.
“Anybody who is serious about investigating the origins of the Mumbai attacks will find that there is enough material to take the investigation forward… If Pakistan is serious about investigating the origins of the horrific crime committed in Mumbai, these answers provide a solid basis,” Chidambaram told reporters.
Officials, however, wondered if Pakistan would be able to deliver on the investigations at a time when there was political turmoil in the country and the civilian government much weaker than a few months ago.