Mumbai attack 'not planned in Pakistan'
New Delhi, January 30, 2009
A Pakistani investigation into the Mumbai attacks has shown they were not planned in Pakistan, the country's high commissioner to Britain told an Indian television news channel on Friday.
Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have exchanged heated rhetoric since the Mumbai attacks that killed 179 people in November.
India says they were carried out by Pakistani militants who must have had support from Pakistani state agencies. Pakistan denies that and says it will cooperate with Indian authorities.
"Pakistani territory was not used so far as the investigators have made their conclusions," Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Pakistan's high commissioner in Britain, told India's NDTV channel in an interview on Friday.
It was the first time a top Pakistani official had commented in any detail about a dossier of evidence that India handed to Pakistan early this month. Pakistan said the dossier contained information, not evidence.
Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who is in Davos, Switzerland, said the investigation was still going on and its findings would be released "very soon".
"Whatever the dossier, whatever the information ... we are probing into it," he said in comments to an Indian television channel aired by a Pakistan television network.
Asked about Hassan's remarks, Gilani said only the Ministry of Interior was authorised to comment on the investigation.
Gilani repeated a Pakistani pledge that it would not allow terrorists to operate from its territory and anyone found guilty of involvement in the Mumbai attack would be brought to justice.
An Indian foreign ministry spokesman in New Delhi said India had had no word from Pakistan about the investigation and he had no idea when it would come.
Indian analysts said Pakistan was still in a "state of denial", and said India would have to take stronger action.
"India will retaliate, but what will be the form of retaliation will be decided by the government," Naresh Chandra, a former Indian envoy to the United States, told Reuters.
"We will have to show the world that we have exhausted remedies and options. India must confront both the US and the United Kingdom on what Pakistan is saying," Chandra added.
Others said relations between India and Pakistan could sour further. "The relationship will remain frozen for a while and there are no prospects for any meaningful co-operation," said Brahma Chellaney, a professor at the Centre for Policy Research. "It is clear that Pakistan is playing a diplomatic game."
Both the United States and Britain have backed India's assertion that the Mumbai attacks originated from Pakistani territory, but they did not accuse the government of involvement.
Hassan said Pakistan hoped other countries would accept the findings. "We are not doing any whitewashing business. We believe in going about facts. Our findings will be acceptable," he said.
"They categorically informed me that (the) UK was not involved. Pak (Pakistan) was not involved. Its territories were not used for planning this operation," Hassan said.
India has said the dossier sent to Pakistan contains the confession of a surviving attacker, satellite phone intercepts between the attackers and their handlers in Pakistan, and a list of Pakistani-made weapons used by the militants.-Reuters