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We will share evidence only after probe: India

india Updated: Dec 13, 2008 14:41 IST

Voicing scepticism over Pakistan acting decisively against terrorists operating from its soil, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said such elements have been "let off" in the past after some initial action.

"Therefore we shall have to see whether these (actions by Pakistan) are taken to their logical conclusion," he said, asking Islamabad to ensure that the terror infrastructure is dismantled completely.

Reacting to Islamabad's demand for evidence of the involvement of the Pakistan-based elements in the Mumbai attacks, Mukherjee said India was ready to do so but not at this juncture when investigations were yet to be concluded.

"We can make available whatever evidences we have. In this case, we are also investigating, we have not come to any conclusion. Therefore at this juncture, perhaps, it would be premature to share the evidences," Mukherjee told Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate programme for CNN-IBN.

He refused to comment on the current crackdown on terror groups in Pakistan, while noting that similar actions took place in the aftermath of the attack on Parliament in 2001.

"Almost similar actions were taken at the initial stage when the international pressure was mounted. After that it was let off," he said, adding that he was "waiting to see" that these steps are pursued seriously.

"I am waiting to see ... The infrastructure facilities available to terrorists are totally dismantled and the outlawed and banned organisations do not reappear in their new name with the new signboards but with the same old faces."

His remarks follow Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in Parliament on Thursday that the international community has to be galvanised into "dealing sternly and effectively with the epicentre of terrorism, which is located in Pakistan."

Mukherjee said the "non-state actors" Pakistan has been referring to as behind the terror attacks "live and function" within the territory of that country.

"That is why, repeatedly, I said elements from Pakistan. That is a phrase I have used meticulously. I would not like to be more specific unless definitive conclusion is arrived at by the investigating agencies," he said.

The Minister's comments come amid a crackdown launched by Pakistan against the Jamaat-ud Dawa, the front organisation of Lashkar-e Toiba (LeT) blamed for the Mumbai attacks, after the UN Security Council designated the outfit as a terrorist group.

Mukherjee noted that in response to the demarche issued by India, Pakistan said it was considering "various aspects" on action to be taken and planning to send a high-level delegation here.

In the demarche, he said he has sought action against two categories of persons -- those who have committed crime in India and have taken shelter in Pakistan, and Pakistani citizens indulging in terrorist activities in India.

"Some people who have committed crime in India and have taken shelter in Pakistan like Dawood Ibrahim. We are asking the Pakistan authorities to hand him over to Indian authorities

so that he can be tried as per Indian laws here.

"There are persons who are Pakistan citizens, who are indulging in terrorist activities in India. Let them be arrested and tried as per Pakistan law," Mukherjee said.

The Minister said he did not understand the difficulty Pakistan has in handing over Masood Azhar to India. "He was in Indian custody. We had to hand over him to hijackers of the Indian plane in Kandahar. He is available in Pakistan. He is seen on television screens in Pakistan. I do not know what difficulty Pakistan has (in handing him over)."