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Examining evidence on Mumbai,to respond soon: Pak to US

Islamabad has assured the US that it was examining the information and would frame a formal response soon.

Written by Agencies | Islamabad | Published: January 5, 2009 4:07:24 pm

Hours after India handed over evidence linking elements in Pakistan to the Mumbai terror strikes,Islamabad on Monday assured the US that it was examining the information and would frame a formal response soon.

Pakistan’s top political leadership informed this to visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher.

Boucher’s arrival in Islamabad on Monday morning coincided with the handing over of evidence by India about the terrorist attacks in its financial hub that killed more than 180 people.

Though there was no official word on Boucher’s meetings with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi,official sources were quoted by TV channels as saying that the Pakistani leaders had informed the US diplomat that the government is examining the information received from India.

Islamabad’s formal response would be framed shortly,the sources said.

India on Monday handed over to Pakistan evidence about involvement of elements based in that country in the Mumbai attacks and asked Islamabad to implement its commitments.

Boucher discussed the regional security situation in the wake of the Mumbai attacks with Gilani and Qureshi. Bilateral relations,the situation along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and an anti-militancy operation launched by Pakistani security forces in the Khyber tribal region also reportedly figured in the discussions.

Qureshi was initially scheduled to participate in Boucher’s meeting with the premier but stayed back in the Foreign Office to study the information provided by India on the Mumbai attacks.

Boucher was also scheduled to meet President Asif Ali Zardari.

During his meeting with Boucher,Gilani asked for the repatriation of Pakistani national Afia Siddiqui,who has been detained by American authorities as a terror suspect.

Gilani also said the US must play its role to end the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The Pakistani leaders also sought the repatriation of five Pakistani nationals currently being held in the US military prison at the Guantanamo Bay.

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