Pakistan 'to keep' Mumbai suspects

Foreign minister rules out handing anyone detained in Pakistan over to India.

    Sources say 15 members of a banned Pakistani group were detained in Muzaffarabad [AFP]

    "We will proceed against those arrested under Pakistani laws."

    Sources said about 15 suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba members had been detained in the town of Muzaffarabad in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir on Sunday afternoon.

    'Committed'

    Writing in the New York Times on Tuesday, Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan's president, said the raid was evidence of his country's resolve in cracking down on who may have had a role in the attacks.

    "The arrests are being made for our own investigations. Even if allegations are proved against any suspect, he will not be handed over to India"

    Shah Mehmood Qureshi,
    Pakistan's foreign minister

    He said Pakistan was "committed to the pursuit, arrest, trial and punishment" of all people inside Pakistan who were involved.

    Zardari also said that the peace process with India must continue in order to "foil the designs of the terrorists".

    However, the Associated Press news agency reported unnamed Lashkar fighters as saying that the camp was abandoned by the group in 2004 and had since been used by Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar's parent organisation, for education and charity work.

    Lashkar-e-Taiba has denied any role in the deadly rampage, but Indian officials say the sole attacker captured alive has told them that Lakhvi recruited him for the mission and that Lakhvi and another suspected Lashkar commander, Yusuf Muzammil, planned the assault.

    News of the arrests emerged hours after Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, urged Pakistan to act quickly and said there was evidence the country was used by "non-state actors" to mount the attacks.

    "I do think that Pakistan has a responsibility to act," Rice said in a television interview.

    Islamabad has denied any of its state agencies were involved in the attacks in India's financial hub.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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