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No action against Masood Azhar till India gives evidence: Pak

world Updated: Dec 04, 2008 21:25 IST
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Pakistan on Thursday said it will not take any action against Jaish-e-Mohammed founder Maulana Masood Azhar till India provides "concrete evidence" of his involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Acknowledging India's demand for handing over several criminals and terrorists, including Azhar and mob bosses Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim, interior ministry chief Rehman Malik said the Jaish founder is a Pakistani national and is currently in the country.

"No action will be taken against Masood Azhar till India provides concrete evidence of his involvement in the Mumbai attacks," Malik told reporters here.

He said Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon are "Indian citizens and are not in Pakistan".

Malik also said India had not "officially asked" Pakistan to send any official of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency or the Federal Investigation Agency to assist in the probe into the Mumbai attacks.

India has blamed Pakistan-based elements, including the banned Lashker-e-Taiba terror group, for the Mumbai attacks and asked Pakistan to act against them.

India has also asked Pakistan to hand over 20 criminals and terrorists, including Masood Azhar, Lashker-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon.

After initially denying Pakistan's involvement in the attacks that killed nearly 200 people, President Asif Ali Zardari today said the government "will not only assist in investigation but also take strong action against any Pakistani elements found involved in the attack".

Zardari made the comments during a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who asked Pakistan to act "sincerely and quickly" in providing "unequivocal assistance" to India in probing the Mumbai attacks.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had last week accepted his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh's request to send the ISI chief to India to assist in the probe. The government later changed its stand apparently under pressure from the military and said only a representative of the spy agency would be sent to India.