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No proof that Mumbai attackers were from Pak: Zardari

Source: PTI
December 18, 2008 12:58 IST
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In a U-turn, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has said there is still no 'real evidence' that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai came from Pakistan nor had it been established that the lone arrested attacker Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab hailed from the country's Punjab province.

"Have you seen any evidence to that effect? I have definitely not seen any real evidence to that effect," Zardari told BBC in an interview.

Zardari, who earlier acknowledged that the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage of November 26 could be 'non-state actors' from Pakistan, made these remarks while responding to a question on assertions from India, United States, Britain and other countries that the 10 terrorists who struck at Mumbai came from Pakistan.

On being told that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as well as Indian and Western intelligence agencies had stated that the Mumbai attack had originated from Pakistan, Zardari said, "Investigation is an evolving process. Even the foreign minister of India has said they are still investigating.

"I think we will hold that judgement till proper investigation and conclusive evidence is shared between Pakistan and India. We are hoping that will happen because we have asked for a joint investigation."

About the admission by Kasab's father living in Faridkot village in Pakistan's Punjab province that he was indeed his son, Zardari said, "We are investigating that position. There are disputed positions in the press. Some say what you say and some say to the contrary. So I would say the investigation is ongoing. I would not jump to a conclusion."

Zardari said Islamabad was prepared to act if adequate evidence of any Pakistan complicity in the attacks emerged.

"If that stage comes, and when it comes, I assure you that our parliament, our democracy, shall take the action properly deemed in our constitution and in our law," he said.

Zardari also said that Hafeez Sayeed, leader of banned outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa, would remain under house arrest.

"Let me assure you that if there is any investigation to be found pointing towards his involvement in any form of terrorism, he shall be tried for that reason," Zardari said. JuD is accused of being a front for the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

The Pakistani President said that while he was not in denial about the LeT's continued activities, "when you ban an organization, they emerge in some other form."

Zardari said he would support any request from Britain to question terror suspects held by Pakistan, but a final decision in the regard would be made by the Pakistani parliament.

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