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'No question of allowing Pak to examine our witness'

Last updated on: August 14, 2012 17:15 IST

The United States has decided to name Sajid Mir and seven other terrorists who have been responsible for both the 26/11 and 9/11 attacks. Even as International agencies continue to name these terrorists, Pakistan, which harbours these men, continues to remain in denial, and very recently even rejected the proof given by the Indians regarding the 26/11 case. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

After being handed over several dossiers by India and even the US giving them incriminating proof regarding acts of terror on Indian soil, Pakistan has outright rejected the proof on the ground that India did not let them question the witnesses and accused while a commission of theirs was in India.

The big question now is will India go ahead and allow the Pakistanis to question the accused. Sources in the Union home ministry reject this claim by Pakistan and say that enough and more proof has been given and they will not be allowed to question the witnesses on Indian soil.

The question that is being asked by the experts dealing with terrorism is whether Pakistan will try the likes of Lashkar-e-Tatyiba founder Hafiz Saeed and others involved in the 26/11 attack if more proof is given? The answer is no.

Sources say that this is an intentional delay tactic on their part in order to keep the interest engaged.

"What more evidence needs to be given?" a home ministry official asks. "Our investigation and even the probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation has shown that state actors in Pakistan have been involved in this attack. Have they even bothered to act upon it till date? Instead, they lock the accused in safe houses, and convict them as per their liking, only to release them later.

Former Research and Analysis Wing chief C D Sahay says that both the countries -- India and Pakistan follow similar laws which have been derived from the British. They also include the Evidence Act.

"It is not a Shariyat court in Pakistan which is trying the accused. India has recorded the statements under the Evidence Act. How come suddenly a law accepted by them has become un-acceptable and inadequate in nature?" he says.

"What if we allow them to question the witnesses on our soil? You mean to say they will accept that evidence? Even the Americans have given them evidence; but have they accepted it?" another official asks.

"Telling us that we have not given them enough evidence is foolish as the impetus is on them to act on the matter. Why is it that for an attack launched from their soil should others be the ones to give them proof? Are they not capable of investigating the matter on their own? The approach was the same even after the 9/11 attacks, hence we cannot expect anything different here. Pakistan should conduct its own investigation," says Sahay.

"It is up to them to accept it or reject their own investigation, but it is foolish to ask us for evidence since the onus is on them to act. They ought to be investigating the army personnel involved in the attack and the scores of other LeT terrorists over there. Their people have landed on our shores and attacked our people, and hence they should act," Sahay points out.

Home ministry officials say that there is no question now of allowing them examine our witnesses. "Will they let us probe Hafiz Saeed or LeT commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi? Moreover, where is the guarantee that they will accept what our witnesses are saying?" says an official.

Vicky Nanjappa