Pakistan to charge Mumbai suspects

Minister calls for India to share more intelligence on attacks' perpetrators.

    Saeed, the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, is accused by India of masterminding the Mumbai attacks [AFP]

    Malik said that Pakistan had "arrested seven accused, despite sketchy information".

    Pakistan has held close-door pretrial hearings at a maximum security prison in Rawalpindi for only five suspects who have not yet been charged.

    Their next hearing is set for September 26.

    Widening investigation

    Malik also indicated that Pakistan was formally investigating Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, a founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group India has said was behind the Mumbai attacks.

    Saeed now heads Jamaat-ud-Dawa, an alleged charity banned by Pakistan after the UN declared it a front for Lashkar.

    "He has been included in the investigation," Malik said, in the first apparent confirmation that he was being probed in connection to the Mumbai attacks.

    Malik said that Pakistan had turned over a list of requests for additional evidence from India, especially forensic support and information about Saeed.

    The Pakistani move follows comments by SM Krishna, the Indian foreign minister, that the attack on India's financial capital would be the focus of his forthcoming meeting with Shah Mehmood Qureshi, his Pakistani counterpart, at the UN General Assembly in New York.

    The meeting between Qureshi and Krishna, on September 26, will be preceded by talks between their foreign secretaries, or most senior diplomats.

    "My attempt would be to impress upon the Pakistan foreign minister the desirability of taking action against the brains behind the Mumbai attack," Krishna said.

    Mumbai siege

    India blames Lashkar for the Mumbai assault staged by 10 attackers, nine of whom were killed.

    Under international pressure, Pakistan acknowledged that much of the plot originated on its soil.

    Pakistan arrested Saeed in December after India provided a dossier of evidence in a rare sharing of intelligence.

    But a Pakistani court freed him from house arrest in June, saying there was not enough evidence to hold him.

    Police in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad have lodged two complaints against Saeed for delivering a speech to his supporters last month in which he urged jihad and appealed for funds for his Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity.

    India insists it will resume talks to normalise ties only after Pakistan brings to justice the alleged perpetrators of the November 26-29 siege.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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