03.12.2008 India

Hand over militants, India tells Pakistan

Listen to article

India is renewing its demands that Pakistan hand over a group of wanted militant leaders suspected of plotting the attacks in Mumbai that killed nearly 180 people.

Indian officials have delivered a list of suspected terrorists and asked Pakistan to hand them over, two sources within the Pakistani government confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said his country made the request to Pakistan's top diplomat in India, according to the Press Trust of India.

"We will await the response of Pakistan," he told reporters Tuesday.

India summoned Pakistan's High Commissioner, the top-ranking Pakistani diplomat in New Delhi, to Mukherjee's office Monday to inform him that last week's massacre in Mumbai "was carried out by elements from Pakistan."

"The government expects that strong action would be taken against those elements, whosoever they may be, responsible for this outrage," a statement from the ministry said.

"It was conveyed to the Pakistan High Commissioner that Pakistan's actions needed to match the sentiments expressed by its leadership that it wishes to have a qualitatively new relationship with India."

The attacks on Mumbai, the center of India's financial and film industries, left 179 people dead. A band of gunmen attacked 10 targets in the city, sparking three days of battles with police and Indian troops. Most of the deaths occurred at the city's top two hotels, the Oberoi and the Taj Mahal.

On Tuesday thousands of mourners thronged to funerals in Israel for a rabbi and his wife who were killed in the attacks.

Indian authorities said the lone suspect in police custody is Pakistani and was trained by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, a now-banned Islamic militant group also blamed for the 2001 parliament attack.

On Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told CNN that his government would provide "full cooperation" with Indian authorities investigating the attacks, which left 179 dead. But he said Indian officials have yet to present Pakistan with evidence regarding the massacre.

And Indian officials are under pressure to explain the lapse of security that allowed the siege to occur. Indian security forces have confirmed to CNN that not only did U.S. officials warn them of a waterborne attack in Mumbai -- they were told twice.

Local fisherman in Mumbai said they witnessed a group of gunmen dock their boat Wednesday night, before heading toward the busy causeway.

Also, sources have told CNN-IBN that officials found phones and a global navigational device on an abandoned boat floating off the coast of Mumbai. The boat had been hijacked, intelligence officials told CNN-IBN.

Four crew members who had been on board were missing. The captain was found dead, lying face down with his hands bound behind his back.

The United States warned the Indian government about a potential maritime attack against Mumbai at least a month before last week's massacre in the country's financial capital left nearly 180 dead, a U.S. counterterrorism official told CNN.

The area entered a higher state of alert for a week, including tightened security measures at hotels, but those efforts were eventually reduced, Indian officials said.

A team of FBI agents is in Mumbai to assist in the investigation, and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is heading to New Delhi on Wednesday to try to ease strained relations between the nuclear neighbors.

ModernGhana Links

Join our Newsletter