Friday, December 26, 2008

Interpol chief says India has not shared Mumbai attacks' information

Interpol chief says India has not shared Mumbai attacks' information
23 Dec 2008, 1755 hrs IST, PTI

Pakistani interior ministry chief Rehman Malik (right) with Interpol secretary-general Ronald Noble

(AFP) — The chief of Interpol said Tuesday that India had not yet authorised the sharing of any information with the global police agency about those suspected of involvement in the Mumbai attacks.

Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble made the statement after talks with Pakistani interior ministry chief Rehman Malik about the ongoing investigation into the attacks, which India has blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

"To date, India's government has not authorised India's police agencies to enter any data relating to the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai into Interpol's databases," Noble told a joint press conference.

"The information Interpol has about what happened in Mumbai is the same information that you have -- it's information that was read in journals, that was read on the Internet or that was seen on TV."

New Delhi has blamed last month's attacks, which left 172 people dead, on the banned Pakistan-based extremist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is fighting Indian rule in disputed Kashmir.

India says the gunmen were trained and equipped by LeT and travelled to Mumbai on a hijacked trawler from the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi. The group has denied any involvement.

Under pressure from India and the United States, Pakistan has cracked down on the group and an Islamic charity regarded as a front organisation, but New Delhi says it has not done enough.

Noble said Pakistan had been "among the most active contributors" to Interpol's efforts in the past, adding officials here told him they "would be willing to cooperate via Interpol to help India further its investigation."

"We want to bring the culprits to justice," Malik, who has been leading Pakistan's counter-terrorism efforts, told reporters.

"We are prepared to cooperate with India but they have to bring us evidence."

When asked if it was unusual for India not to have agreed to Interpol's request for data-sharing, the Interpol chief said it was New Delhi's "sovereign choice" to decide when and if to agree.

However, he expressed hope that more information would soon be forthcoming, following the deployment of a team of Interpol investigators in India this past week.

Malik said Islamabad had acted in accordance with UN resolutions to shut down the LeT-linked charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, place its leaders under house arrest and freeze its assets.

But he emphasised: "Pakistan is a sovereign state, and whatever action is taken, it will be in the national interest. We will not take any dictation."

Asked if he believed that Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved in the attacks, Malik said, "The LeT had been banned much earlier. It does not exist."

In talks with Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram at the weekend, Noble had promised to help New Delhi gather information about the 10 Mumbai attackers, nine of whom were killed.

The lone surviving gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Iman, is in Indian custody.

He has reportedly written a letter which says he and the other attackers were Pakistani nationals, requesting assistance from Pakistani diplomats in the Indian capital.

Islamabad says it is examining the letter, but Malik said the suspect's name does not appear in Pakistan's national citizen database.

No comments:

Post a Comment