‘Pak may let India quiz suspects; won’t hand over’

Pakistan may allow Indian investigators to ‘grill’ the Mumbai attack suspects but will not hand them over to New Delhi.

Written by Agencies | Published: January 4, 2009 9:28 am

Pakistan may allow Indian investigators to ‘grill’ the Mumbai attack suspects after being provided with ‘sufficient evidence’ of their involvement in the deadly strikes,but will not hand them over to New Delhi,a media report said in Islamabad on Sunday.

“At the most,Pakistan could permit the Indians to grill the people now under detention and being questioned by the Pakistani authorities and blamed by New Delhi for a key role in the Mumbai carnage.

“However,there is no likelihood that they will be handed over to India,” a senior unnamed Pakistani official was quoted as saying by ‘The Nation’ newspaper.

Lashkar-e-Toiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi,the suspected mastermind of the Mumbai attack,and its communications specialist Zarar Shah are among the militants detained in Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan has turned down repeated demands from India for them to be handed over to New Delhi. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said: “India does not want war with Pakistan but it must hand over the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.”

But,the Pakistani official said that instead of indulging in “a blame-game,” India should provide substantial evidence about the involvement of Lakhvi,Shah or any other person in the Mumbai attacks to Pakistan.

If this is done,Indian investigators could be given access to the wanted persons on Pakistani soil,he added.

The official said the same went for law enforcement or investigation agencies from across the world. “But the main thing is sufficient evidence proving the involvement of those who are being blamed,” the official said.

He said Pakistan was carrying out its own investigations into the Mumbai attacks and was ready for a joint probe with India. So far,there had been no response from India to Pakistan’s offer for a joint probe,he said.

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