'124 held in connection with Mumbai terror attack'

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Islamabad, Jan 15: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's adviser on interior affairs, Rehman Malik, on Thursday, Jan 15 said that the Pakistan Government has arrested 124 suspects in connection with the Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

"We have arrested a total of 124 people belonging to banned groups and are committed to working with India on the war on terror," Malik told a press conference in the Pakistan capital. He was responding to the Indian Government's charge that Pakistan continues to be in a state of denial about the Lashkar-e-Toiba masterminding the November attack.

Malik said that apart from the arrest of the 124 persons, the law enforcement authorities had cracked down on 20 offices, 87 schools, two libraries, seven religious schools, and a handful of other organizations and Web sites linked to the Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity.

Several relief camps of the charity too had been shut down, he said, but did not admit that they were used as terrorist training grounds.

Malik also indicated that many were also under surveillance.

Among those in custody are Jamaat-ud-Dawa founder Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and Lashkar commanders Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarrar Shah, the last two being sighted by the Indian Government as the ones who planned the Mumbai attacks.

Malik said Pakistan is trying to act responsibly and repeated Islamabad's call for a joint investigation with India into the attacks. He said such an investigation would bring quick results.''

He reiterated that India has handed over to Pakistan a dossier of information, not evidence related to the attack.

"We have to inquire into this information to try to transform it to evidence, evidence which can stand the test of any court in the world and of course our own court of law,'' Malik told media persons.

He also said that there was no question of handing over suspects to India, saying Pakistani laws were sufficiently sound to prosecute citizens who committed crimes elsewhere.

"We have to prove to the world that India and Pakistan stand together against terrorists because they are the common enemies,'' Malik said.

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 ANI

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