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Indian evidence gives 'good clues': Pak

world Updated: Jan 18, 2009 01:47 IST
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Pakistan finally found merit in the evidence about Mumbai terror attacks given to it by India, saying that it contained "leads and good clues" and promised to file criminal cases if prima facie evidence is found.

<b1>"Quite a lot of material" was provided by India and the Pakistani investigators will work to convert this into "evidence that can stand up to judicial scrutiny", Pakistan's Interior Ministry chief Rahman Malik told a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday.

He said the three-member counter-terror team, investigating the Mumbai attack and examining the Indian dossier, has been directed to submit its preliminary findings within 10 days.

No case regarding the Mumbai attacks has been registered so far in Pakistan. "If prima facie evidence is available on record, we will then convert it into a criminal case," Malik said, adding the time needed for any prosecution would depend on the judiciary.

Pakistan was not acting under pressure from India and will not accept "dictation" from anyone regarding the probe, he said.

Asked about British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's comments on Friday that Pakistan needs to go "farther and faster" in prosecuting those involved in the Mumbai attacks, Malik said, "We will not accept anyone's instructions to do things faster."

The perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks cannot be nabbed without evidence developed from "basic leads" and Pakistani investigators should thus be given access by India, Malik said.

"This is the time that Pakistan and India need to stick together," he said. "We'll be needing more information."

Asked when a Pakistani team would be sent to India, he said this would be done whenever the "Indian Interior Minister is ready to accept" such a delegation. "And I will be ready to accept their people at any time," he added.

Pakistan is "fully convinced...That it is our duty as a responsible nation to get to these militant groups so that such an incident does not happen in future anywhere in the world," Malik said.

"Pakistan is suffering at hands of militants. If they have done the same in India, it's worrying for us. That's why we are doing the inquiry and (will) bring them to justice."

Pakistan had also taken action against the JuD because of the listing of the group as a terrorist organisation by the UN Security Council, irrespective of whether there is evidence against it, Malik said.

The country's investigation will ascertain "how far and at what level" the JuD is involved in terrorist activities, he said.

"We share the agony of India, this was the time to show solidarity with them. There is no doubt about it that this incident had happened where Pakistani non-state actors were blamed. It was our duty to extend full cooperation to the Indian community and the international community," Malik said.

However, he evaded questions on whether Pakistan will seek consular access to Ajmal Amir Iman Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested during the Mumbai attacks, and whether any evidence had been found linking the JuD to the terrorist incident in India's financial hub.