India ups pressure on Pakistan over Jundal, no dossier shared

Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani held two sessions of delegation-level talks and decided to continue their dialogue Thursday.

Published: 04th July 2012 07:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2012 08:57 PM   |  A+A-


India Wednesday asserted that the interrogation of 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal Hamza had "confirmed" that the terror attack was controlled from Pakistan, even as the foreign secretaries of the two countries held talks on peace and Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to keep the dialogue process on track.

India, however, did not hand over a dossier on Abu Jundal to Pakistan at the talks as it was felt that doing so at this stage will hinder the probe.

Assisted by senior officials, Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani held two sessions of delegation-level talks and decided to continue their dialogue Thursday.

"The foreign secretaries, along with their respective delegations, have had two full sessions of detailed discussions covering all aspects of the agenda under the items peace and security as well as Jammu and Kashmir," Syed Akbaruddin, India's external affairs ministry spokesperson, told reporters here.

The talks started at 10.30 a.m. and continued over a brief working lunch. The spokesperson declined to reveal any details of the talks except for saying that a joint statement will be issued at the end of the two-day talks Thursday.

Jilani will also call on External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna before leaving for Islamabad Friday.

In the opening round of talks, the two sides reviewed the dialogue process and focused on ways to bolster peace and security, including confidence-building measures (CBMs) aimed at easing trade and travel between the two countries. The two sides also decided to fast-track implementation of CBMs related to Jammu and Kashmir and press for an early resolution of the Kashmir issue, informed sources said.

The two nuclear-armed neighbours also reviewed the atomic CBMs aimed at preventing nuclear accidents and war.

The agenda for the talks had been fixed well in advance, but the disclosures made by Jundal, alias Zabiuddin Ansari, an Indian 26/11 plotter with suspected links to Pakistani militants and Pakistani state actors, has put the focus again on Pakistan's link to the Mumbai terror spree.

India is understood to have pressed for faster justice for the victims of the Mumbai terror carnage and drew the Pakistani side's attention to the disclosures made by Abu Jundal that established a link between 26/11 and Pakistani state agencies.

However, no dossier on Jundal was shared as the the Indian home ministry felt that it was premature to do so when the probe was still on.

"We are not handing over a dossier but we have briefed the foreign secretary on information obtained during Jindal's interrogation. If he wishes, he can share it with his Pakistani counterpart," Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters even as the two foreign secretaries were engaged in talks.

While the details of the talks are yet to become clear, Chidambaram upped the pressure on Islamabad about the disclosures made by Jundal and asserted that it has confirmed that the terror attack was controlled from Pakistan.

"We now know how the control room functioned. So I think the dots are being connected. It is no longer possible for anyone to deny that the incident happened in Mumbai but the control of the incident, before and during the incident was in Pakistan," Chidambaram said.

Jundal, who hails from Beed in Maharashtra, has confessed to being amongst those directing the 10 Pakistani terrorists who docked in Mumbai on the night of Nov 26, 2008, sources in the investigation team have said.

He was arrested at the airport in Delhi June 21 after his deportation from Saudi Arabia.

Jindal is being interrogated by several investigating teams, including the Intelligence Bureau, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad and a special Delhi Police team.

Jundal's passport shows his present and permanent address in Pakistan and his visa for Saudi Arabia had been also issued on the Pakistani passport. Islamabad has been in denial, calling Jindal's passport fake.

The Indian side is understood to have asked Pakistan to find out how the Pakistani passport and Pakistan's domestic identity cards were issued to Jundal in the name of Riyasat Ali.

India also renewed its demand for providing voice samples of key 26/11 accused, including LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and LeT operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

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