India to Seek Access to Headley's Wife, Aide From US

Lalit K Jha/New Delhi/Washington
India to Seek Access to Headley's Wife, Aide From US
India will seek access to Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist David Headley's wife Shazia and his accomplice in Mumbai terror attack, Tahawuur Hussain Rana, during the third Indo-US strategic dialogue to be held in Washington next week.

Highly placed official sources in New Delhi said the request will be made by India at the sub-dialogue on the margins of the Indo-US Strategic Dialogue which will be co- chaired by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, next Wednesday.

Sources said the request to interrogate Shazia and Rana will be made by Home Secretary R K Singh to his US counterpart Jane Holl Lute during the Homeland Security, Counter-terrorism and Intelligence sub-dialogue which will also be attended by Director of Intelligence Bureau Nehchal Sandhu.

India had access to 50-year-old Pakistani-American Headley, who recced the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack targets for the LeT, but so far have not been able to quiz his Pakistani- Candian businessman friend Rana and wife Shazia.

Indian investigators into the 26/11 case believe that both Rana and Shazia have lot of information and through their interrogations more light may come into the conspiracy hatched to carry out the worst terrorist strike in India and role of those behind it.

Home Secretary Singh will also visit US's National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) during the visit.

Official Spokesperson of MEA Syed Akbaruddin said the "Strategic Dialogue is the principal platform to bring the different strands of the broad-based and diverse agenda of bilateral engagement and pursue the vision of India-US Global Strategic Partnership, outlined by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama."

Krishna will be accompanied by Minister for Science and Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Prime Minister's Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation Advisor Sam Pitroda, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath and Minister of State for Planning, S&T and Earth Sciences Ashwini Kumar.

There will be several dialogues on the margins of and preceding the Strategic Dialogue.

Minister for Human Resource Development, IT and Telecommunication Kapil Sibal will chair the Higher Education Dialogue with Clinton on June 12.

Kumar will co-chair the Joint Science and Technology Commission Meeting with John Holdren, President Obama's Advisor on Science and Technology.

Azad will co-convene with Clinton and UNICEF, a Call to Maternal and Child Care Action on June 14-15 in Washington.

A number of sub-dialogues have also been scheduled on the margins of this Strategic Dialogue, including the Global Issues Forum, Homeland Security Consultations, Strategic Intelligence Dialogue, the Counterterrorism Joint Working Group, Cyber Consultations, Information and Communications Technology Working Group, the Women's Empowerment Dialogue, Dialogue on Health Cooperation and other events.

Kishna will also have a restricted meeting with Clinton on June 13 before they chair the Plenary Session.
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