26/11: India still waiting on Pakistan for justice

Last Updated: Sun, Nov 27, 2011 08:35 hrs

India told Pakistan on Saturday that it was still awaiting "decisive" action against the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, as the country observed the third anniversary of the strike that claimed 166 lives.

In coordinated attacks the terrorists had targetted Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, luxury hotels like Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Nariman House Jewish community centre among other places.

"We are still waiting for Pakistan to act decisively to bring to justice the perpetrators of the mindless violence that was unleashed on Mumbai," Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna told reporters at news conference in New Delhi.

"We are still waiting...I once again call on our neighbour to bring the perpetrators of the crime to speedy justice", he said.

India has long contended that Pakistan's efforts to prosecute those behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks are eyewash, an allegation rejected by Islamabad that asserts that India is yet to provide "credible" evidence against the perpetrators.

Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik on Saturday said that the country had taken action against Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and others accused of involvement in the Mumbai attack on the basis of evidence provided by India.

However, the suspects were released because the information given by New Delhi was "vague and insufficient", Malik claimed.

India's main opposition, the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) countered Pakistan's allegation, saying that the country was sheltering the perpetrators.

"Pakistan is sheltering the terrorists. 26/11 perpetrators are walking free in Pakistan," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar was quoted as saying by a national news channel on Saturday.

"We should have contested Rehman Malik's (Pakistan´s Interior Minister) statement that there is no credible evidence in 26/11. The evidences given to Pakistan should be made open to world," he said.

Krishna also dismissed Malik's claims saying that the evidence given by India's home ministry to Pakistan in the Mumbai terror attack case was sufficient for "any normal court" to prosecute the accused.

"I think the evidence provided by the ministry of home affairs would be sufficient for any normal civilian court to prosecute the people involved in the conspiracy and the perpetrators of this crime," he said.

Meanwhile in Mumbai wreaths were placed at a police memorial and a minute's silence observed in memory of the 18 security personnel who were killed during the three-day ordeal.

The siege, known in India as the 26/11 attacks, was carried out by terrorists from Pakistan who came by sea to strike the high profile targets this day in 2008.

The siege of Mumbai continued for about 60 hours and after heavy gunbattle with the terrorists holed up in the hotels the fight ended in the death of nine of the ten gunmen who held India´s financial capital hostage.

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab is the only among the ten gunmen who could be captured alive. He was awarded death sentence but India is yet to execute him as the legal process continued.

Kasab admitted that the attackers were members of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit.

The attack led to the severance of the peace talks and created tension between nuclear armed neighbours India and Pakistan for a long period though later dialogues resumed.

India blamed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for training, equipping and financing the attack with support from "elements" in the Pakistan military, a charge that was later corroborated by co-conspirator David Headley.

India's Supreme Court has stayed the death sentence handed down to Kasab, pending an appeal hearing.

Some of the key people involved in the conspiracy are undergoing trial in USA.

David Coleman Headley, a Chicago-based Pakistani American, is one of them.

His friend Tahawwur Hussain Rana is another Pakistani Canadian resident of Chicago who has been jailed in USA for plotting an attack on Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, but was acquitted in the Mumbai attack there though he is a wanted in the Mumbai attack in India.

More from Sify: