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Indian help in our probe welcome: Pak

January 18, 2009 17:26 IST

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Asserting that all the 'culprits' behind the Mumbai attacks 'must be apprehended', Pakistan on Sunday said Indian investigators will 'be more than welcome' to help in its probe into the terror strikes.

Pakistan can, in fact, hand over fugitives to India

Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik also said anyone found to be involved in the 'heinous' attacks would be prosecuted under the country's anti-terror laws.

Malik's comments came a day after he acknowledged that the evidence about Mumbai terror attacks [Images] given to Pakistan by India contained 'leads and good clues'.

"All the culprits (involved in the Mumbai attacks) must be apprehended. Who will support such acts?" he told media persons in Lahore [Images] on Sunday after a meeting to brief opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif [Images] and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, about Pakistan's probe.

Earlier, during an interview with Geo News channel, Malik said Pakistan's investigations into the Mumbai attacks are being conducted under the country's laws and the government will not accept any foreign pressure in this regard.

He said no assistance would be sought from foreign countries though Indian investigators will 'be more than welcomed' to help in the probe.

"Pakistan is very open and the inquiry officers have been bestowed with full powers to fulfil their task," Malik said.

India should reciprocate Pakistan's gestures in the same spirit and allow Pakistani investigators to travel to the neighbouring country, he indicated. The Pakistani inquiry "cannot proceed without the provision of legally-tangible evidence", he remarked.

Malik also told the channel that if India persisted with its demand for the extradition of Pakistani nationals allegedly linked to the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan would seek the handing over of persons involved in the 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express train.

After reports appeared in Indian media suggesting a possible link of the Malegaon blast accused with the train attack, political leaders here have been saying that the government should seek the extradition of Indian nationals, including Col S K Purohit, for the bombing of the cross-border train that killed nearly 70 people, including Pakistanis.

"If the Indian demand for handing over the accused in the Mumbai attacks persisted, then the accused of the Samjhauta Express case might be asked for" by Pakistan, Malik said.

Replying to a question about Indian fears of Talibanisation of the region, he urged Indian authorities to share their findings in this regard with Pakistan and cooperate with it in its bid to exterminate terrorism and extremism from South Asia.

He also said Pakistan is part of the world community and a member of various international forums and is thus bound to fulfil its international obligations.

Malik told the media in Lahore that action had also been taken against outlawed groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah by the provincial government of Punjab.

"Don't [Images] forget, (the Jamaat's headquarters at) Muridke is in Punjab (and) major action has been taken by the government of Punjab," he said.

Malik said he would meet leaders of other political parties soon to brief them on Pakistan's probe into the Mumbai attacks.

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