'FBI Hands Over Evidence on Mumbai Attacks to Pak'
The FBI has reportedly given to Pakistan evidence amassed on involvement of elements based in that country in the Mumbai carnage even as Islamabad today rejected India's fresh demand to turn over terror suspects linked to the strikes. The evidence included the Laskhar-e-Toiba handlers' warning to the attackers about the arrival of Indian commandos while watching the mayhem live on TV and a "Aag lagao" (Light the fire) order, the British newspaper 'Sunday Times' reported. The report said Pakistan has rejected the alleged FBI evidence Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi ruled out handing over the suspects insisting that there was no extradition treaty between the two neighbouring countries. There can be no comparison between Pakistan's extradition of terror suspects to the US and India's demand for the handing over of persons linked to the Mumbai attacks, Qureshi told reporters in his home-town in Multan, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanded that Pakistan hand over terror suspects linked to the Mumbai attacks. "We have a treaty with the US, we do not have an extradition treaty with India. Please do not compare, every situation is not identical," Qureshi said on the eve of arrival of a top US diplomat Richard Boucher visiting Islamabad to push Pakistan to act against the Mumbai attack perpetrators. Another media report in a Pak daily quoting a senior unnamed Pakistani official said Pakistan may allow Indian investigators to "grill" the suspects after being provided with "sufficient evidence" of their involvement but will not hand them over to New Delhi. At the most, Pakistan could permit the Indians to grill the people now under detention and being questioned by the Pakistani authorities and blamed by New Delhi for a key role in the Mumbai carnage. "However, there is no likelihood that they will be handed over to India," the Pakistani official was quoted as saying by 'The Nation' newspaper. The British newspaper 'The Sunday Times' while stating that evidence is growing to prove that the Mumbai strikes were orchestrated by militants based in Pakistan reported that Zarar Shah, a communications specialist of Lashkar-e-Toiba, has admitted under interrogation in Pakistan that he advised the terrorists by phone as the attacks unfolded. Controllers in Pakistan watched live television and warned the gunmen of the arrival of Indian commandos, the report said, citing evidence amassed by the FBI and handed over to the Pakistani government. The FBI had decoded Skype calls over the internet that were made between the gunmen in two five-star hotels and a Jewish centre in Mumbai with their LeT controllers in Pakistan, identified as Shah, Abu Hamza and Abu Qafa, it said. Talking in colloquial Punjabi, the controllers repeatedly told the attackers "Aag lagao" ("light the fire"), which has been interpreted in India as a way of maximising casualties, the paper said. During the conversation, the men were also instructed to kill all the Israelis held captive in the Jewish hostel, but to spare all the Muslims, it said. Shah revealed that the 10 assailants were trained in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and then travelled by boat from Karachi to Mumbai. He implicated several other Lashkar men. According to the report, Islamabad rejected the alleged FBI evidence and dismissed India's contention about close ties between LeT and ISI.
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