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Pakistan finds Mumbai evidence 'insufficient'

Describing Mumbai attacker Ajmal Amir Iman Kasab's confession as "doctored", Pakistani authorities have reportedly said the evidence provided by India on the terror strikes is "insufficient" and no action can be taken based on it.

world Updated: Jan 06, 2009 13:38 IST

Describing Mumbai attacker Ajmal Amir Iman Kasab's confession as "doctored", Pakistani authorities have reportedly said the evidence provided by India on the terror strikes is "insufficient" and no action can be taken based on it.

Pakistan had informed visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher that the evidence handed over yesterday by India is "too insufficient to be made a ground for any action", "reliable sources" were quoted as saying by The Nation newspaper.

The report did not specify which Pakistani leader had conveyed this message to Boucher during his visit in Islamabad on Monday. The report also did not state on what grounds the evidence provided by India was deemed insufficient.

Boucher met President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who all said Pakistan will take action against anyone found involved in the attacks if India provided "credible" evidence.

Noting that the evidence provided to Pakistan by India consisted of the confession of Kasab, the lone terrorist
arrested for the Mumbai incident, The Nation claimed that he was being held by Indian intelligence agencies and his statement could have been recorded "under torture and violence" and thus had "no legal status".

The sources told the newspaper that Iman's confession was "doctored" and the Indian dossier also contained a demand for handing over LeT commanders Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, blamed by New Delhi for masterminding Mumbai attacks.

The report said Pakistan is expected to frame a reply on the evidence handed over by India "in a day or two". The government has formed a committee comprising officials of different investigating agencies to review the evidence and prepare a report, it added.

The pro-establishment The News daily reported that interior ministry sources had "literally laughed off the India dossier".

The dossier included transcripts of phone conversations between the attackers and their LeT handlers, decoded Skype calls over the internet between the terrorists in the Taj and Oberoi Hotels and a Jewish centre and their LeT controllers, weapons recovered after the carnage and the interrogation report of Iman.

The sources said the dossier contained intercepted telephonic conversations between the Mumbai attackers and two LeT commanders - operations chief Lakhvi and communications specialist Zarar Shah - who have been arrested by Pakistani authorities and are being interrogated.

The interior ministry sources "maintained that the evidence provided to Pakistan largely seems to be cooked up
and chiefly aimed at maligning the country", The News said.

The newspaper also quoted Western diplomatic sources as saying that there is "nothing new" in the dossier handed over to Pakistan.

However, Boucher told a news conference here last night that it had been clearly established that the Mumbai attackers had links to Pakistan and that the US would encourage Pakistan to pursue the leads provided by India so that the perpetrators of the carnage can be tracked down.

An unnamed official also told The Nation that Pakistan too had prepared a dossier containing alleged evidence on India's "involvement in acts of terror in (Pakistan's) tribal areas and Balochistan" and "the role of Indian consulates in Afghanistan in this regard".

"Pakistan will soon send its dossier to Washington and other world capitals to let them know which state in South Asia has been supporting the menace of terror on the soil of neighbouring states," the official said.