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Pakistan briefs envoys on Mumbai attack probe

Nirupama Subramanian

Some of the trails point to involvement of foreigners: Malik

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday briefed representatives of diplomatic missions here on the “concrete steps” it had taken in the course of its investigation of the Mumbai attacks.

Through a PowerPoint presentation, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Rehman Malik, who heads the Interior Ministry, informed the assembled diplomats of the detention of suspects, the launch of a formal inquiry and the setting up of a team of the Federal Investigation Agency comprising anti-terror experts from the Special Investigations Group.

Indian High Commissioner Satyabrata Pal, who was not present at the briefing, met Mr. Malik separately, and the same information was conveyed to him too.

“The first step is to wait for the results of the FIA investigation. [Mr Malik] gave an assurance that they were proceeding with great urgency,” Mr. Pal said.

At the briefing for the diplomats, according to those present, Mr. Malik indicated that some of the trails pointed to the “involvement of foreigners,” but gave no specifics.

Mr. Malik said the same thing to journalists too over the weekend, but sources said this was not a reference to India.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry said Mr. Qureshi reiterated to the diplomats Pakistan’s “determination to extend full co-operation and assistance” in investigating the Mumbai attacks.

The Foreign Minister also spoke of the need for India to respond positively to Pakistan’s proposals for “engagement” to address issues relating to terrorism and to the Mumbai incident, in particular.

‘Avoid blame game’

According to the statement, Mr. Qureshi “stressed that blame game should be avoided and India should cooperate with Pakistan to help bring the culprits of this heinous crime to justice.”

Mr. Malik said the government wanted a “transparent and legally tenable inquiry” indirectly indicating that extradition of suspects was not on the cards.

He spoke of the plan to “proceed with the prosecution in accordance with the law of the land.”

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