India to ask US to press Pakistan on Mumbai attacks probe

Other News Materials 15 February 2009 17:45 (UTC +04:00)

India will ask the US to sustain diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to ensure it brings terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks to justice, when US special envoy Richard Holbrooke meets Indian officials shortly, officials said Sunday, according to dpa.

Holbrooke, President Barack Obama's special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, is due to arrive in the Indian capital New Delhi later on Sunday evening on the last leg of his 10-day trip to the region.

The US official who has already toured Pakistan and Afghanistan, is visiting the region to take stock of the situation as the new US administration undertakes a review of its policy towards the two countries.

Holbrooke is expected to hold talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, National Security Advisor, MK Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon on Monday, a spokesman of the Indian foreign office said.

The Mumbai terrorist attacks will figure prominently in the discussions and India will stress the importance of keeping up the international pressure on Pakistan to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the attacks, the official added.

India has already presented a dossier of evidence that linked the three-day gun-and-bomb attacks, which claimed at least 173 lives, to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group.

Later on, Pakistan admitted that that the attacks were partly planned on its territory and said a criminal case was registered against the suspects, many of whom were already in police custody.

"India will apprise the envoy about its assessment of the threat of terrorism emanating from Pakistan particularly in the backdrop of the Mumbai attacks," the official said.

"We attach importance to the talks as this would be the first visit of a senior official from the new US administration to visit India after Barack Obama became president," he added.

The Indian officials are also expected to share more evidence with the US in connection with the Mumbai carnage and discuss other aspects related to it.

Mukherjee in a statement in the Indian Parliament on Friday urged Pakistan to "fully unveil" the conspiracy behind the Mumbai attacks and take action against terrorist groups to prevent such strikes in the future.

He also called on Pakistan to eliminate the terrorist hideouts on its soil.