Islamabad: At least five of the 10 gunmen who attacked targets in Mumbai nearly three months ago were of Pakistani origin, according to a government report that has been leaked to the local television (TV) networks.
It would be the first acknowledgement by Pakistan that at least one of its own citizens had participated in the assault. The country has confirmed that the lone surviving gunman in Indian custody, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, is a Pakistani.
Stalling act? A 29 Nov picture of the Taj hotel. Pakistan was due to make public the preliminary findings of the investigation into the terrorist attack in Mumbai. But on Monday it issued a statement saying investigators needed more evidence from India to proceed with the investigation. Desmond Boylan / Reuters
But officials here have rejected India’s assertions that the assault was conceived and planned inside Pakistan. According to the television networks, the government report says that the investigators have concluded that the attacks were planned in a European country and Dubai over the Internet, and that the planners used Bangladesh for logistical support.
It was unclear from the leaks how the investigators had come to their conclusions.
The preliminary findings of the investigation had been expected to be made public this week. But on Monday the government issued a statement saying investigators needed more evidence from India to proceed with the investigation.
The request for more information provoked an angry reaction on Tuesday from India, which said it had already shared exhaustive evidence of Pakistani complicity.
Minister of state for external affairs Anand Sharma called the Pakistani request a stalling tactic. “What is required of Pakistan is that it should not delay, deflect or confuse, but act,” Sharma said, according to AFP.
The Pakistani government did not specify what additional information investigators wanted from India. But Dawn, Pakistan's most prestigious newspaper, reported on Tuesday that Pakistani officials would seek a DNA report on Kasab and the other nine, who were killed by the Indian security forces.
Pakistan is also seeking information about the weapons used by the gunmen as well as details of the cell phone calls made by them, Dawn said.
In addition, Pakistan will push for access to the Indians who have been arrested in connection with the attacks, the newspaper report said.
Tension between the countries has intensified since the November attacks in Mumbai, which killed at least 183 people. Indian and the US officials have accused Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), an outlawed militant group that has vowed to free the disputed Kashmir region from Indian control, of being responsible for the attacks.
Pakistan has promised to cooperate fully in the investigation of the attacks.
Under immense international diplomatic pressure, Pakistan put Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the charity affiliated with the LeT, under house arrest and detained at least 124 people in a nationwide crackdown. Offices and schools associated with the charity have been closed.
© 2009/The New York Times