Action against 26/11 perpetrators focus of talks with Pak in New York: India

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Istanbul/London, Sep.19 (ANI): Indian External Affairs Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna has asserted that the main agenda of his meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in New York would be to pressurise Islamabad in taking action against perpetrators of last year's Mumbai terror attack.

Krishna said this while speaking to media persons at Turkish capital Istanbul during his visit to that country on Friday.

"I cannot spell out what exactly I can expect from such meetings. But this much I can assure that my attempt would be to impress upon the Pakistan foreign minister the desirability of taking action against the brains behind the Mumbai attack," said Krishna.

The Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan and diplomats of the two nuclear-armed rivals are scheduled to meet in New York next week on the sidelines of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly.

Krishna further said that Islamabad should book Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group for masterminding last November's assault on Mumbai in which more than 166 people were killed.

"He has been leading the anti-India head campaign and he is the patron saint of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. I would have appreciated Pakistan government if they had proceeded against Hafiz Saeed for his role on the attack on Mumbai," added Krishna.

Meanwhile, police in Faisalabad have lodged two cases against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed this week for delivering a speech to his supporters last month in which he called for the launching of a jihad and appealed for funds for his Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity.

Saeed was not available for comment but a spokesman for him said that the authorities were acting under pressure from India and that Saeed was in Lahore.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has said that he is unaware of the specific details of the case, but added that Saeed's arrest illustrated 'our (Pakistan's) determination to prosecute anybody and everybody who is inclined towards the aggressive mindset.'

"As far as Hafiz Saeed is concerned, the investigation officer would know much more than the president of Pakistan I assure you of that. So what do we have against him? I do not know.

The fact that he has been picked up, yes, that is true. That is our determination to prosecute anybody and everybody who is inclined towards the aggressive mindset," said Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan.

Ahead of the meeting, Pakistani police said they planned to arrest an Islamist leader wanted by India.

Zardari while addressing a gathering at International Institute of Strategic Studies in London called for greater dialogue with India to increase regional security.

He expressed a willingness to revive a dialogue with India ruptured by last November's assault by Pakistan-based militants on Mumbai.

"We believe that regional dialogue and cooperation is the way forward. With India, after the Mumbai attacks, we have had bilateral engagements at leadership level. The next round of talks will take place in New York. Pakistan is convinced that revival of the composite dialogue process is necessary and in the mutual interest of the two countries. We also believe that meaningful progress towards resolution of the Kashmir dispute is necessary for durable peace and stability in South Asia," said Zardari.

Pakistan has put on trial five militants accused of involvement in the attack in which 166 people were killed. It has released photographs of 13 other suspects who have not yet been detained.

But India, which broke off peace talks launched in 2004 with Pakistan following the attacks blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, has complained that Islamabad is not moving fast enough in pursuing those responsible. (ANI)

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