Amid India’s complaint that the US did not share information relating to David Headley before or after 26/11,the United States has promised to share the outcome with India the findings of a “full review” on when and what inputs it received about the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist.
Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the issue of the US not sharing information about Headley was “blown out of proportion” as the US had shared intelligence with India in the months leading to 26/11 as well as after 26/11,though the name of Headley was not mentioned.
“What they knew about David Headley and when they knew about that and made the connection with 26/11,it is a matter,I am told,under full review in the United States,” he told reporters replying to questions on sharing of information on Headley.
Chidambaram said he had been assured that when the US authorities would complete the full review,they would share it with India.
“So,let’s wait for that review to complete,” he said.
Union Home Secretary G K Pillai had said on October 27 that the Home Ministry was “disappointed” that the US did not provide specific information about Headley,who had plotted the 26/11 Mumbai attacks that claimed 166 lives,even though he travelled here freely after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
The Home Minister said intelligence sharing between India and the US was “extremely good” and the name of Headley was shared with New Delhi sometime in October 2009.
Asked whether the issue of Headley’s extradition will figure in the meetings during the forthcoming visit of President Barack Obama to India,Chidambaram said “it (extradition) is an option and,as I said,we will continue to pursue that option”.
On the possibility of filing a chargesheet against Headley in connection with the Mumbai attack,he said it was a decision which has to be taken by the National Investigation Agency — the prosecuting agency — and not by the government.
On counter-terrorism cooperation between the US and India,the Home Minister said the two governments were working on an understanding with reference to a counter-terrorism initiative.
“So,until that work is completed,I won’t be able to comment but we… the Ministry of Home Affairs broadly supports cooperation and counter-terrorism,” he said.
‘Interlocutors should refrain from ball-by-ball commentary’
Centre’s three interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir have been able to change the “discourse” in the state,Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Monday but asked them to refrain from giving a “ball-by-ball commentary” about the progress made in their dialogue.
Presenting his ministry’s report for October,Chidambaram told reporters that after the recent visit of the All Party Delegation to the state,”there is a sense of expectation that the political problem of Jammu and Kashmir will be addressed in all seriousness.”
He said the interlocutors have,to some extent,changed the discourse in the state and “I sincerely hope that the people in the state will give peace a chance and give dialogue a chance.”
However,there was a quick word of caution from the Home Minister when he was asked about the claims made by one of the interlocutors about submission of a peace plan by a terrorist.
“I think media should not ask and interlocutors should not give a ball-by-ball commentary about their dialogue. This is interlocution. This is not a cricket match,” he said.
When it was noted that the statement was made by one of the interlocutors during a TV show,he said “that is because you ask questions.”
On criticism from BJP of remarks made by interlocutors,he said if the party wants the dialogue process to succeed,it “should show restraint and not make these completely baseless allegations. They should give the dialogue process a chance to succeed.”
Noting that the situation in the Valley was gradually getting back to normal,Chidambaram,who returned from the state last evening,however,added that it is “too early” to say that everything is normal there.