New Delhi: India said on Wednesday it has given Pakistan new information relating to the November attack on Mumbai, seeking to push investigation into an assault that New Delhi says was carried out by Pakistan-based militants.
Pakistan had raised questions in response to a dossier of evidence furnished by India for the attack in which 166 people were killed.
“Ministry of External Affairs have Wednesday handed over to the Pakistani High Commission additional information and details relating to the Mumbai terror attack sought by Pakistan,” a foreign ministry statement said. It did not give any details.
Local TV said the information included DNA samples of the attackers who New Delhi says were members of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group. Nine of the attackers were killed by Indian commandos while a lone gunman was taken alive.
A Pakistani foreign ministry official confirmed they had received new information at the High Commission in India but said he did not have details of what it contained as it had not yet been passed on to Islamabad.
The move comes days after a general election in India gave the ruling Congress party a strong mandate to deal with economic issues and security in a region overshadowed by instability in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The assault on India’s financial capital raised tensions between the nuclear rivals who have been to war three times since their independence from Britain in 1947.
Both sides have exchanged angry rhetoric since the attack, with India saying the gunmen must have had support from official Pakistani agencies.
Islamabad has denied this charge, but acknowledged that the raid had been launched and partly planned from Pakistan. It has detained several Islamist leaders, including some whom India has named as planners of the guns-and-grenade assault on Mumbai.
Pakistan has also lodged a police complaint against eight suspects, including Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the Pakistani militant caught alive by Indian forces during the attack between 26 and 28 November.
But India says enough has not been done to investigate the planners of the attack. New Delhi put a four-year-old peace initiative on hold after the assaults on Mumbai.
India’s latest move, some analysts say, could signal the new, strong Congress-led coalition’s intention to step up pressure on Pakistan to act against the militants.
One analyst said that he expected Pakistan to respond positively in the investigation, which could lead to a thawing of ties.
“We can expect to see a rounding up of more guys in a show of good faith by Pakistan,” said New Delhi-based strategic analyst Bharat Karnad.
He said India and Pakistan would eventually have to return to peace talks.
India has charged 38 people, including Kasab in connection with the Mumbai attack. Most of the accused reside in Pakistan, the Indian government says.
Those charged as key planners of the attacks included the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, and senior members Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah.