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Pakistan's reaction positive, says India

February 12, 2009 23:20 IST

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India on Thursday termed Pakistan's much-awaited response to the Mumbai [Images] evidence dossier as 'positive' and promised to share whatever more information it can with Islamabad [Images] after examining its queries.

Soon after Pakistan handed over the response to India's High Commissioner Satyabrata Pal, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] discussed it with senior ministerial colleagues P Chidambaram [Images] and A K Antony. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], who is recuperating from bypass surgery, is understood to have been informed about the development.

Mukherjee will make a statement in Parliament on the issue on Friday. "My initial response is that it is a positive development... We are happy that the initial response is positive," Chidambaram told reporters when asked to comment on Pakistan's admission that the Mumbai attacks were 'partially' hatched in that country and that six people have been arrested.

He said the dossier that India gave to Pakistan on January 5 was "exceptionally, tightly argued document, very cogently argued document which nobody could have ignored" there.

Chidambaram said the report received has a number of questions that "we will study in different departments" before coming out with further action, he said. The Ministry of External Affairs said India will follow the process of action initiated by Pakistan through the end as it is keen to ensure that perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice.

"In their official response, Pakistan authorities have admitted that elements in Pakistan were involved in the terrorist attacks on Mumbai," the MEA said in a statement. "They (Pakistan) are still in the process of investigating the attacks and have taken certain actions including the arrest of some of those who were involved and filing a First Information Report," it said.

"This is a positive development," the statement said. The MEA statement pointed out that Pakistan has sought further information and material related to the investigation. "The government of India will now examine the issues raised in the response by Pakistan. After that examination, we will share whatever we can with Pakistan," it said.

At the same time, India would "expect that the government of Pakistan take credible steps to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism" in that country. Asked if the Inter Services Intelligence or official agencies of Pakistan are involved, Chidambaram said, "It is not fair to get into such debate at this stage."

India had been awaiting the formal response ever since it gave the dossier of evidence to Pakistan, providing details about how 10 terrorists came from that country to launch strikes in Mumbai and how the attackers were in touch with their handlers even during the three-day engagement with security forces.

The dossier named some Pakistan-based people, including Lashkar-e-Tayiba [Images] commander Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah as being among the conspirators. Pakistan, in its response, has agreed with the Indian version to a large extent, particularly with regard to the conspiracy being partly hatched in that country and nine terrorists coming via sea from Karachi to Mumbai.

There have been conflicting reports from Pakistan during the last one month. Some ministers and officials at times insisted that Pakistani soil was not used for conspiracy and that Ajmal Amir Iman Kasab [Images], the lone surviving terrorist nabbed during the Mumbai attacks, was not Pakistani.

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