Paris: Pakistan has handed over a fresh dossier on its probe into the Mumbai terror attacks to India, ahead of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday in Egypt.
The dossier, handed over to the Indian high commission officials in Islamabad on Saturday, identifies 12 new suspects and gives an update on Pakistan’s investigations into the 26 November attacks, informed sources said.
After Singh’s disclosure on Saturday that ISI chief has met some officials of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, speculation has been rife about the powerful spy agency’s influence in the process of talks.
The Indian side is unwilling to hazard a guess on whether ISI will be part of the talks, saying it amounts to jumping several steps.
Singh, who arrived in Paris on a two-day visit yesterday to participate in the French National Day celebrations and talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy, will leave for Egypt on Tuesday to participate in the NAM Summit on whose sidelines he will meet his Pakistani counterpart.
Singh will meet Gilani on Thursday at Hotel Maritim Jolie Ville Golf Resort at Sharm-el Shiekh hoping to get a categoric commitment that the Mumbai terror accused would be quickly brought to justice and Pakistan’s soil will not be used for terror acts against India.
The Singh-Gilani meeting will be preceded by talks between foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon and his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir, who will have the first meeting on Tuesday and later report to their respective leaders.
Though the Indian side is entering the talks on a note of caution, it is not pre-judging Pakistan’s intention. The sources said India has taken note of President Asif Ali Zardari’s willingness to discuss the issue of terrorism during his talks with Singh in Russia last month.
New Delhi has also acknowledged that Pakistan has taken “some steps” in this direction. “But what they amount to, we have to see,” they said.
While India has made it clear that Pakistan should take steps to dismantle terror infrastructure and stop terror acts directed against it, New Delhi feels laying down deadlines, markers for this purpose is not pragmatic.
The Indian side feels it is premature at this stage to speculate on resumption of the peace process, stalled since the Mumbai attacks.
The Indian side is of the view that at this stage it can neither say yes or no to starting the Composite Dialogue with Pakistan.
India is disappointed that eight months have passed since the Mumbai strikes and movement from the Pakistani side in prosecuting the accused is slow and frustrating, the sources said.
The case against one of the principal accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT operations commander, has been deferred for the third time till 18 July because a judge has not been appointed, the sources pointed out.
New Delhi has been unhappy over the release of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, LeT founder and the chief of JuD, following a Lahore high court order on 2 June.
India sees it as a serious issue and is of the strong view that Pakistan is obliged to catch anyone who incites terrorism.
Gilani on Monday took stock of the country’s probe into the Mumbai terror attacks ahead of the crucial meeting.
He met interior minister Rehman Malik, who briefed him about the status of the inquiry into the attacks that killed nearly 183 people in November last year.