New Delhi: India on Sunday reacted strongly to Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik statement that Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist Abu Jundal was an operative of an elite Indian intelligence agency, saying it was a "ridiculous" remark. "Such a statement is ridiculous. Jundal was working with the LeT in Pakistan's soil when the Mumbai terror attack was carried out," Home Secretary RK Singh said.
Singh was reacting to Malik's statement during the day that Jundal was working as an agent of an elite Indian intelligence agency. On Malik's remark that Indian agencies could haveprevented the Mumbai terror attack, the Home Ministry in a statement said the main issue was that the Mumbai terror attack was conceived and planned and directed from the soil of
Pakistan did not take any action against these terrorist elements when the plan was being conceived and put into effect, it said. The Home Ministry also said even after the Mumbai terror attack when full facts were known to the world, Pakistan was hesitating to take action against key conspirators and key operatives.
Home Ministry team to visit Pakistan soon
A Home Ministry delegation will visit Pakistan very soon to set the terms of reference for a
Pakistani Judicial Commission which will tour India to cross examine four witnesses of Mumbai terror case. "India will send a delegation which will set the terms of reference for second Judicial Commission to come to India. That team will come on Tuesday and I will clear it within 24 hours. If it happens in a week, 10 days...probably in the first week of January, the Commission will visit India," Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.
He was delivering a lecture at Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.
Later, a Home Ministry official said the date for the visit has not been fixed yet but the team will go "very soon". Pakistan has been maintaining that to take forward the 26/11 case in a Rawalpindi court to its logical conclusion, four witnesses of the case living in India needed to be cross examined by a Judicial Commission.
A Pakistani Judicial Commission had visited Mumbai in March but was not allowed to cross examine the witnesses. However, New Delhi has now agreed to the Islamabad's request. "Once the Commission visits India, I am very hopeful that in a very short span of time, the case will be concluded. Our sincerity and will should not be doubted. We will leave no
stone unturned and there will be special attention from my side," he said.
Malik said after the Commission's visit, based on available evidence, "irrefutable evidence" that Pakistani investigators collected, the guilty will be convicted and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be able to visit Pakistan. "Peace process must continue. Talks between the two countries must go on," he said.
Referring to LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistani leader admitted that Saeed was an "irritant" for both India and Pakistan but the evidence provided by New Delhi against the terror mastermind was not enough to prosecute him. "We have requested you for evidence against Hafiz Saeed. I got a dossier where there are information only limited to the extent that Ajmal Kasab said there is one Hafiz Saeed who is used to visit his camp. Based on that we arrested him, took him to the court.
"But he was released by the High Court. We went to the Supreme Court but again he was let off. So we did our job immediately. I told the (Indian) authorities that the evidence is not sufficient. We need evidence, substantive evidence which can stand the test of any court and I tell you that I am still waiting for that," he said.
Malik said India has been able to complete the 26/11 case quickly as it had more physical, material evidence and relevant witnesses. "On the other hand, I have a case of abetment and of course the conspiracy and you all know proving a conspiracy, abetment is how difficult. But let me tell you, we have irrefutable evidence and evidence which was appreciated by your government. The evidence in respect of boat, telephone, GPS locations, etc. are quite sufficient to prove it," he said.