India Provides Proof of Mumbai Attacks to Pakistan

For the first time since the Mumbai attacks in November, India provided Pakistan today with official evidence that "elements in Pakistan" were behind the assaults, increasing the pressure on Pakistan to clamp down on terrorists operating within its borders.

After the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan arrested a handful of members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that India and the United States blamed for the attacks that killed 170 people but has said it can't do more until India provides evidence.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said today that India expected results "as soon as possible" and that it "beggars the imagination" that nobody in the Pakistani establishment knew about preparations for the attacks.

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"It's hard to believe that something of this scale that took so long in the preparation and of this nature, which amounts really to a commando attack, could occur without anybody, anywhere in the establishment knowing that this was happening," Menon told reporters in New Delhi.

The dossier of evidence, which was presented in both Islamabad and New Delhi, included transcripts and other materials from the interrogation of Ajmal Qasab, the sole surviving gunman in the Mumbai attacks, who has written to the Pakistani high commission in Delhi admitting he was Pakistani. It also included evidence of phone calls made by the attackers to Pakistan and data retrieved from the attackers' GPS and satellite phones, showing they'd sailed from Karachi to Mumbai, according to the Indian external affairs ministry.

The dossier was also presented to 20 foreign countries, Menon said, in an attempt to pressure Pakistan to act.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement today that it would "evaluate the information provided by India so far" but also said it was carrying out its own investigation.

That investigation has included a reported admission by Zarar Shah, a senior member of Lashkar-e-Taiba who was arrested last month, that the group had organized the attacks.

Pakistani Spy Agency Support

But while the Pakistani government had promised to crack down on terrorists -- and did so again today in a meeting between Prime Minister Yusuf Gilani and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher -- groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba were created by and are still supported by elements in Pakistan's powerful spy agency, the ISI, in part to fight against India.

It's not clear whether the Pakistani government is strong enough to charge Lashkar-e-Taiba with the attack in a Pakistani court, which could possibly anger parts of the ISI.

"The military want to take a tougher line against India, and they also want to preserve some of these jihadi groups. They don't want to see these people being shut down completely," said Ahmed Rashid, author of "Descent Into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia." "They've invested in them for many, many years, because these jihadi groups have been on the frontline in Kashmir in India on behalf of the Pakistan military and intelligence agencies. So there is a great reluctance to give up on these guys."

Of the Pakistani crackdown, Menon said today, "Frankly, what we have seen so far does not impress us."

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