Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani claimed that the material provided by India on the Mumbai attacks constituted “information” and not evidence and said that “pragmatic cooperation” was the way forward for dealing with the 26/11 terror attacks.
“All that has been received formally from India is some information. I say information because these are not the evidence. This needs to be carefully examined,” he said while making a statement in the National Assembly on the dossier on the Mumbai attacks handed over to Pakistan by New Delhi.
Pakistan,he said,had already assured India of full cooperation in tracking down the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.
He also referred to Pakistan’s proposal for conducting a joint investigation with India into the incident. “India has,however,not responded to our proposal. We hope they will see merit in it and accept a joint inquiry,” Gilani told the lower house of Parliament.
“Serious,sustained and pragmatic cooperation is the way forward. The information provided by India on January 5,2009,has been sent to the Ministry of Interior for necessary inquiry in accordance with the law,” he said.
“The results of the inquiry will be shared with the government of India in due course of time.” Gilani had earlier ruled out handing over any Pakistani national found to be linked to the Mumbai attacks to India or any other country. Such suspects will be tried in the country according to Pakistani laws,he had said.
The dossier handed over by India to Pakistan includes the confession of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Iman Kasab,the lone gunman captured during the Mumbai attacks,and intercepts of phone conversations between the attackers and their Pakistan-based handlers.
Pak should seriously consider Indian evidence: Sharif
Former Premier Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan should seriously consider the evidence handed over by India on the Mumbai attacks and highlighted the need to keep the direct communication channel between the two countries open to avoid misunderstandings.
“We should seriously take notice of the evidence that has been received and pay attention to it. At the least,we should not give anyone an opportunity to say that Pakistan is dragging its feet to investigate the matter,” said Sharif,the chief of the Opposition PML-N party.
Calling for a joint investigation of the Mumbai attacks by Pakistan and India,he told a news conference here that the two countries should try to avoid point-scoring and keep open the channel of communications to avoid misunderstandings.
“We should fulfill our responsibilities and convince India to work with us to conduct an inquiry. There should not be any point-scoring because that will be damaging and disastrous for both countries,” he said.
Asked about information on the Mumbai incident being shared by India with Pakistan through the US,Sharif said: “I think India should open a channel for direct communication with Pakistan. If this channel has been closed for some reason,both countries should make efforts to open it again.
“A communication gap leads to an increase in misunderstandings and the situation gets worse. The situation gets to a stage where it will not be manageable. This communication channel should not be closed under any circumstances.”