Access to Headley is good news: Krishna

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New Delhi, Apr 13 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Tuesday expressed happiness over media reports that Indian investigating agencies would get direct access to David Coleman Headley, the man charged with scouting targets for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Reacting to media reports that India would get a chance to interrogate Headley, Krishna said, "I think that is good news from the United States."

Krishna also said that India would raise the issue of terror infrastructure in Pakistan in the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Bhutan.

Responding to India's concerns about Taliban camps and terror infrastructure in Pakistan, Krishna said, "I think that has been the basic point we have been mentioning where ever we go and with whom so ever we talk."

"I think that is our concern. It is that which threatens the tranquility in this region," he added.

It has been reported that during Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's 50-minute meeting with US President Barack Obama at Blair House on Sunday afternoon, the American President assured the Indian side that it would get access to David Headley. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said: "They (the US) were working through the legal system on the issue of provision of access to Headley."

Describing the summit meeting as "extremely positive and constructive", Ms. Rao said that President Obama was sensitive to India's concerns.

"President Obama understood India's deep concerns in this regard as also the situation in Afghanistan. He said India's interests were consistently on the minds of the United States. The president said there was no country in the world where opportunities for a strong and strategic partnership are greater and more important to him personally or to the United States than that with India," Ms. Rao said.

Foreign Secretary Rao said: "The Prime Minister mentioned David Headley and the rise in infiltration, the activities of LET, Hafiz Sayeed and Ilyas Kashmiri. He said there was no will on the part of Pakistan to punish those responsible for the terror crimes of 26/11."

Though the United States had earlier refused to extradite Headley and the US Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer, had said that it was not yet decided whether India would get access to Headley or not.

Headley had pleaded guilty to all the 12 charges of conspiracy involving bombing public places in India and providing material support to foreign terrorist plots and Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, besides aiding and abetting the murder of six US citizens in the Mumbai attacks.

Headley, 49, has been cooperating with U.S. investigators since his arrest in October and faces up to life imprisonment, prosecutors said.

Headley had promised to cooperate and provide testimony in exchange for a pledge that he would not to be extradited to India, Pakistan or Denmark. (ANI)

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