India to take up Rana's claims with Pak: Krishna

Taj hotel attacked by terrorist in 2008
New Delhi, Apr 13: India today (Apr 13) said it will take up with Pakistan claims made by Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a key accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case, that he had acted at the behest of Pakistan government and ISI and not terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

"We will certainly take it up," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters on being asked whether India would raise the issue of Rana's revelations with Pakistan.

Rana, the Pakistani-Canadian accused in the Mumbai terror case, has claimed in court documents that his "alleged illegal acts of providing material support to terrorists -- were done at the behest of the Pakistani government and the ISI, not the Lashkar terrorist organisation."

Rana's disclosures have brought to the fore India's suspicion that Pakistan's government and the ISI had a role in the 26/11 attacks that left 166 dead.

"We are in constant touch with the Pakistan Government through our diplomatic channels," Krishna said to questions on the issue. However, he made it clear that the dialogue process with Pakistan will continue.

"These are two different aspects. Peace talks will go on, cricket matches will go on and simultaneously our relentless efforts will continue to bring to justice all those responsible for the heinous crime against India in Mumbai," Krishna said.

"There are no contradictions in that position," he said when asked whether the revelations made by Rana would have an impact on India-Pakistan peace talks.

"I have said that both these things will have to go on...Just look at the Sharm el-Shaikh declaration," he said when asked about India's insistence that talks with Pakistan cannot proceed in the absence of credible action against perpetrators of terror acts in India.

On Rana's claim that the ISI and Pakistan government officials were masterminds of 26/11, the External Affairs Minister said, "Things will have to be verified... It is our hope and expectation that those responsible for the attacks have to be brought to justice. The US has publicly committed to that position."

On the steps taken by the Government to bring back from Chile Abdul Rauf, a person suspected to be a key conspirator in the hijacking of Indian Airlines plane (IC-814) in 1999, the Minister said, "Our intelligence agencies have already deputed personnel to go to that country and then make an assessment whether it is the same person who was responsible for the hijacking. If it is so, necessary follow-up action would be initiated."

Earlier, Chile's Ambassador to India Christian Barros said that after proving the identity of the person detained there, the Indian Embassy in Santiago must apply with all documents to seek Abdul Rauf's extradition from there.


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