War no solution against Pakistan, says India
Delhi has not handed Mumbai evidence, says Islamabad; two top Lashkar members held
Afp, New Delhi/ Islamabad
India yesterday ruled out military action against Pakistan following the carnage in Mumbai, but described its neighbour as at the "epicentre" of the attacks."That is not the solution," foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee responded when a member of parliament said India should attack Pakistan in the wake of the militant strikes."The controllers of Mumbai attacks were in Pakistan," he said, adding that there was "irrefutable proof the epicentre of this attack and not only this one but many more are in our neighbouring country."However, Mukherjee said India expected decisive action from Pakistan to crack down on militants operating on its soil and added India had given Islamabad a list of 40 suspects it wanted handed over."We have given them lists of 40 persons, not one, not 20 -- lists of 40 persons and we have also pointed out that their denial is not going to resolve the issue," he said.He said the 40 had been "indulging in terrorist activities" and other crimes and have been "taking shelter" in Pakistan.The list of 40 is believed to include Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian underworld boss wanted for bomb attacks in Mumbai in 1993 that killed nearly 260 people and Maulana Masood Azhar, a Pakistani Muslim cleric released from an Indian prison in exchange for passengers on a hijacked plane."You arrest them and hand them over to us," he said.Earlier, India had said it had demanded that Pakistan hand over 20 people.Pakistan has previously said that those people sought by India are not on its soil or there is insufficient evidence to warrant handing them over.Mukherjee also demanded the complete dismantlement of "infrastructure facilities available" to militants on Pakistani soil.Meanwhile, Pakistan has not received any evidence from India implicating its nationals in the Mumbai attacks, the interior ministry said Thursday, as New Delhi once again pointed the finger at its neighbour.The ministry said Pakistan would continue to arrest suspected militants in an operation launched in the wake of the deadly attacks on India's financial centre, but denied acting under pressure from its neighbour."India has not provided any evidence so far," the head of the interior ministry, Rehman Malik, told reporters."We have told India that we will extend full cooperation to bring the culprits to justice," he added."A criminal is a criminal, whether he is Pakistani or Indian or from anywhere else in the world. We want to arrest criminals. But it is wrong to say we are doing this on the say-so of anyone else."Pakistan confirmed Wednesday it had arrested Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, both named in India as suspected planners of the Mumbai attacks, under intense international pressure to act.The two men are senior members of the banned Islamist group and have both been named by Indian media as key planners of the devastating attack on Mumbai in which 172 people died.Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah were in detention and an investigation was underway, Yousuf Raza Gilani told journalists.However, it has rejected Indian demands that suspects be extradited, saying it will instead try them under its own laws.Malik's comments came as his Indian counterpart Palaniappan Chidambaram said that "the finger of suspicion unmistakably points to the territory of our neighbour Pakistan."Chidambaram told India's parliament South Asia was "in the eye of the storm of terror" as he announced wide-reaching reforms to security laws and national infrastructure aimed at preventing future attacks by militants.Indian newspapers say the sole surviving gunman named Lakhvi as the man who put together the team of attackers, while investigators suspect Shah arranged SIM cards and satellite phones used in the siege on India's financial capital.Meanwhile, the UN Security Council sanctions committee targeted Wednesday four members of Pakistan's banned Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), blamed for the Mumbai attacks, for assets freeze and other sanctions.Muhammad Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Haji Muhammad Ashraf and Mohmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq, are "subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo," set out in Security Council resolution 1822 of 2008, said the al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was one of two LeT leaders Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday were arrested. Lakhvi and Zarar Shah, the other detainee, were allegedly key planners of the Mumbai gunmen attack that killed 172 people.Both are reportedly senior members of LeT. Indian newspaper said Lakhvi put together the team of gunmen that perpetrated the attack, while Shah allegedly arranged SIM cards and satellite phones used in the November 26-29 siege on India's financial capital.
One of several CNG filling stations between Kanchpur Bridge and Jatrabari of the capital which BNP big shots built on the Kutubkhali canal, drastically reducing Dhaka's drainage capability. PHOTO: STAR