India to share Mumbai evidence with Pakistan

 

India said today it would give Pakistan evidence found by its investigators linking Pakistan's spy agency and an Islamist militant group based there to deadly bomb blasts in Mumbai that killed 186 people in July.

The comments by India's new foreign secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon, came a day after police in Mumbai, the country's financial hub, said they had solid proof that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency had masterminded the carnage.

Police said the serial blasts on rush-hour commuter trains and crowded station platforms had been executed by Lashkar-e-Taiba using its Pakistani and Indian operatives as well as members of an outlawed hardline Indian Muslim students' group. "We will judge them not by immediate reactions or verbal statements (but) by what they actually do about terrorism," Mr Menon told reporters after taking office.

"It seems to me logical that the mechanism has to deal with this kind of evidence," he added, referring to a bilateral agreement to set up a joint agency to tackle terrorism. Pakistan and Lashkar have both rejected the Indian accusations. A Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman called them baseless and irresponsible.

Tariq Azim Khan, Pakistan's Minister of State for Information, said Islamabad would investigate the allegations if New Delhi shared its evidence. Mumbai police chief AN Roy said yesterday at least 12 Indian men and 11 Pakistanis had been involved in the bombings.

Many of the Indians alleged to have been involved had visited Pakistan several times and trained at Lashkar bases in Bahawalpur town in Punjab province, close to the Indian frontier, he said