Another top Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative, Zarar Shah, has been detained for inquiries in the Mumbai attacks case, Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said in Multan on Wednesday. Shah is believed to be the LeT’s communications chief.
Gilani’s comments came as India demanded that the United Nations Security Council outlaw the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a Lashkar front, and US President George W. Bush said in New York that governments which sponsor terror were as guilty as terrorists.
Gilani also confirmed Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, chief LeT commander, had been detained in connection with the Mumbai attacks.
Gilani claimed that India hadn’t shared evidence or information with Pakistan about their suspicions surrounding the men. “We are investigating on our own about the people they have identified,” he said. “That is a message to our neighbours and the world that Pakistan is a responsible nation.”
Denying that Pakistan was responding to pressure from India, the Prime Minister, who wanted to send his intelligence chief to New Delhi but backtracked under Army pressure, stated, “Whatever action we take will be in the interest of the country and its people.”
“If Indian intelligence send us their findings we will investigate accordingly,” Gilani was quoted as saying.
In Jammu, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan said the mere detention or arrest of the terror masterminds in Pakistan would not help matters with Pakistan.
“All these terrorists should be handed over to India. They would be tried in India under the Indian law,” Chavan was quoted as saying by IANS.
Following up Ahamed’s demand for a UN ban on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said a proposal to outlaw the outfit was already before the UN Security Council.
“We think the perpetrators of the Mumbai were LeT people and it was organised by them…let us see what the international community does. We hope they will respond positively to our request,” Menon told reporters in New Delhi.
Addressing a military gathering in New York, President Bush said that terrorists continue to pose serious challenges, as the world saw in the terrible attack in Mumbai last month.
“One of the most important challenges we will face, and you will face, in the years ahead is helping our partners assert control over ungoverned spaces. This problem is most pronounced in Pakistan, where areas along the Afghanistan border are home to Taliban and to Al Qaeda fighters,” Bush said.
“And at the same time, we have made it clear to Pakistan -- and to all our partners -- that we will do what is necessary to protect American troops and the American people,” Bush added. (with agency inputs)