Mumbai masterminds must be held,Indian help welcome: Pak

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

Written by Press Trust Of India | Islamabad | Published: January 19, 2009 11:59 pm

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

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 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 reporters in Lahore after a meeting to brief opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif 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 were being conducted under the country’s laws and the Government would not accept any foreign pressure in this regard.

He said no assistance would be sought from foreign countries though Indian investigators would “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 added.

If anyone was found to be involved in the “heinous” attacks,the person would be prosecuted under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act,the interior ministry chief said.

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.

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.

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