Pak assures India of progress in Mumbai blast case

New York, Sep 30 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Monday said Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has been assured by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif that Islamabad would look into all concerns raised, including bringing the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack to book.

"I am only saying that our Prime Minister placed this as a priority issue and they didn't say that we won't do it. They said these are the steps that we have taken, appointed a prosecutor, appointed a judicial commission to cross-examine witnesses so that evidence can now be given to court. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said I have indicated and I have directed my side to expedite the hearings and to proceed faster to get conclusion in this case," said Khurshid, when asked as to what makes you so convinced that Pakistan will take real action on the Mumbai blast after the talks.

"This is the Prime Minister of a country, a popularly elected Prime Minister of a country is saying to us; now we can't say to him that we don't believe you. But obviously having said this, they will have to show in the near future over a period of weeks or months that what he has said is actually implemented in the ground," he added.

To a poser on whether India specially raised the issue of Hafiz Saeed, Khurshid said Sharif has assured that more evidence will be gathered to take appropriate action in this case.

"Yes, we did. And he (Sharif) also explained that he was arrested and he was put behind bars, but the court gave him bail. Now, then one can always say that we don't believe what your courts are doing is fair and justice but then you are telling an another country that we don't except that you have a judiciary that works independently of you. But having said that, they said that we will now have more evidence," he said.

Khurshid further said the priority during the talks was accountability for Mumbai and peace and tranquility on the border and Line of Control.

"Our Prime Minister did not go into specific details of individuals that we have asked custody/extradition for. It is at our level. The documents have been given to Pakistan, we need a response from them," he said, when asked whether the extradition of Dawood Ibrahim figured during the talks.

Dr. Singh met his Pakistan counterpart Sharif in New York yesterday during which both sides reviewed state of relationship and discussed the steps need to be taken to improve the ties between them.By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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