Rana claim not to impede Indo-Pak talks

Rana claim not to impede Indo-Pak talks

Despite the revelations made by the Pakistani-Canadian operative of the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba about the role of the neighbour’s spy agency Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, New Delhi is likely to keep up its structured dialogue with Islamabad.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said on Wednesday that India would take up with Pakistan, the issue of Rana’s revelations about the ISI’s role in the Mumbai attacks. He, however, sought to de-link the issue from the continuation of the India-Pakistan structured dialogue, which was resumed recently after a hiatus of about two-and-a-half years.

“These are two different aspects. Peace talks will go on and simultaneously, our relentless efforts will continue to bring to justice all those responsible for the heinous crime against India in Mumbai,” Krishna said, to a question whether Rana’s revelations would cast a shadow on the dialogue with Islamabad. Krishna said Rana’s claim about ISI’s role had to be verified.

Talks between Home Secretary G K Pillai and his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Qamar Uz Zaman marked the resumption of the structured dialogue between the two countries after a long gap.  New Delhi had suspended the Composite Dialogue with Islamabad in the aftermath of the attacks on Mumbai by 10 terrorists of Pakistan-based LeT.

The home secretary level talks were held amid bonhomie over the World Cup semifinal between the cricket teams of India and Pakistan at Mohali on March 30. Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had come to watch the match on an invitation from his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.

Home secretary level talks are likely to be followed by parleys between officials on issues like Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and Wullar Barrage or Tulbul Navigation Project.

Rana was arrested in Chicago by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in October 2009, for his alleged role in plotting terror attacks on Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper that had triggered a controversy by publishing some cartoons showing Prophet Muhammad.

Rana’s trial is set to start in Chicago on May 16.

Rana’s disclosures have brought to the fore, Pakistan’s government and the ISI had a role in the 26/11 attacks that left 166 dead. “We will certainly take it up (with Pakistan),” Krishna said.

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