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Pakistan sent queries to India's dossier, says M K Narayanan

February 01, 2009 17:32 IST

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Coverage: Terror strikes Mumbai

Pakistan is probing the Mumbai terror attacks [Images] in a manner an investigating agency "should proceed" and has sent two sets of questions to India's dossier handed over to it, one of which has already been replied to, National Security advisor M K Narayanan.

"What I am aware of is that after the receipt of the dossier by Pakistan, the Pakistan government has reverted to us and asked number of questions to which answers have been provided," National Security Advisor M K Narayanan told Karan Thapar in CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate programme.

He was responding to a query on Pakistan High Commissioner in Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan's recent statement in which he had said that Pakistani soil was not used for planning the Mumbai terror strikes.

Narayanan said, "I assume that they are yet to receive reply to the second set of queries they have made. So, I don't know what the Pakistan High Commissioner in London [Images] is talking about. I can only say that it is part of the dysfunctional manner in which several things are taking place in that country."

Asked if he was satisfied with the Pakistani response to the dossier, Narayanan said, "I don't know what the word satisfied (means) but certainly they appear to be taking things seriously and at least they are proceeding in a manner that one would expect an investigating agency to proceed, asking queries and not taking everything that is given at the face value that has been given.

"So it is good news from our point of view. (But) whether after all this they would still accept the truth that will kind of hit them in the face, that I don't know." External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] had said that India has received no Pakistani response to the dossier or official information on the outcome of their probe.
On the issue of Pakistan reverting back with sets of questions based on the dossier, Narayanan said, "So as far as we are concerned, we believe that Pakistan is making an attempt to arrive at the truth." He also said India is giving Pakistan every opportunity to "prove its bona fide" in the matter. "Pakistan has been making a claim that non-state actors were involved. That means Pakistani state in not involved. If the Pakistani state is not involved, then there is no reason why they should be not be honest about it," he said.

Replying to a poser by Thapar on whether he thinks that Pakistan would behave the same way as (the flip-flops) in the past, the NSA said, "I am being careful. I on camera and I don't want say something that I may have to withdraw later on. You know my past record on this matter. I am suspicious of what Pakistan's intent is but I am giving them an opportunity. We have provided them with the dossier. They have reverted with certain queries, we have replied to their queries and I presume that they will have more questions and we will assist them. We have taken what I call a very conscious policy of saying if they wish us to assist in their investigations, we will do the utmost. What their response is going to be - from the kind of flip-flops that we have seen from time time, I cannot say."

Narayanan also said that Pakistan should hand over the masterminds of the terror attacks as demanded by India. "If Pakistan is honest of its intention, if Pakistan believes that terrorism needs to be stamped out from their country and those elements that have been spreading terrorism elsewhere, then it is very simple matter--handing over those who have been named in the FIR. That is how the country that believes in helping each other acts," he said (Indian citizens who are fugitives in Pakistan) should not be extradited and sent to India. I agree in the case of Pakistani citizens, the issue is a bigger one, but if they have been accused in a crime which has been of this magnitude or gravity, I think it is in the interest of Indo-Pak relationship that they should be sent to India.

"We are only asking for trial. We are not asking for them to be put before firing squad or something. This is reasonable." He also said he was "not impressed" with the UN resolution banning Jamaat-ul-Dawa and said closing down camps which could come up at anytime somewhere else, was just cosmetic.

"What we really want is that the perpetrators or at least the masterminds for whom perpetrators act should be brought to justice," he said. Narayanan also said the house arrest of LeT commanders Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah was nothing but keeping them as "house guests". On the detention of LeT founder Hafeez Syeed, he said, "I would say he is an honoured guest."

On Pakistan's flip-flops over the arrest of Jaish-e- Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, he said, "I don't think anybody in Pakistan could make a mistake about the identity of Masood Azhar. So, I think that speaks volumes...He (Azhar) could always be stashed away in a safe place. "He may be in Southern Afghanistan and Pakistan, we don't know it at the moment. I would think that Pakistan would certainly be in the best position to know where Masood Azhar is...I would like to think that they more than anyone else would have a good idea about it."

He also said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] public statement that India has enough proof of Pakistan's official agencies being involved in the attack was right. Narayanan said the only wish is that Pakistan would also recognise the truth that there is "something wrong" and "they need to deal with the problem before it becomes more grave than it is."

Narayanan said the country never expected British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to support Pakistan's position that those wanted by India for terrorism need not be handed over but tried in Pakistan.

Narayanan said the country thought Miliband would be more understanding and sympathetic. Replying to a question on reports that Miliband does not support India's request to extradite criminal who are in Pakistan and India should give Islamabad's [Images] judicial system a chance to act, Narayanan said, "I do not know what he meant. You should ask Mr David Miliband himself. I don't know what he was trying to say."

When asked if he was disappointed with with the position that he (Miliband) took, the NSA said, "Davis Miliband is the Foreign Secretary of United Kingdom with which we have extremely close relation. I think the relationship between United Kingdom and India is excellent, between Gordon Brown and our Prime Minister is excellent. "So if you take the totality we did not expect this from British Foreign Secretary. We thought he would be more understanding, sympathetic." Miliband, who was in the country in middle of last month and later also visited Pakistan had said, "Prosecution in the Pakistani system is satisfactory."

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