Kashmir and Abu Jandal Figures in Indo-Pak Talks

Delhi: India Wednesday asserted that the interrogation of 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal Hamza had “confirmed” that the terror attack was controlled from Pakistan even as the foreign secretaries of the two countries held talks on peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to keep the dialogue process on track.

Assisted by senior officials, Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani held two sessions of delegation-level talks and decided to continue their dialogue Thursday.

“The foreign secretaries, along with their respective delegations, have had two full sessions of detailed discussions covering all aspects of the agenda under the items peace and security as well as Jammu and Kashmir,” Syed Akbaruddin, India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson, told reporters here.

The talks started at 10.30 AM and continued over a brief working lunch. The spokesperson declined to reveal any details of the talks except for saying that a joint statement will be issued Thursday.

Jilani will also call on External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna before leaving for Islamabad Friday.

In the opening round of talks, the two sides reviewed the dialogue process and focused on ways to bolster peace and security, including confidence-building measures (CBMs) aimed at easing trade and travel between the two countries.

The two sides also decided to fast-track implementation of CBMs related to Jammu and Kashmir, informed sources said.

The agenda for the talks had been fixed well in advance, but the disclosures made by Jundal, alias Zabiuddin Ansari, an Indian 26/11 plotter with suspected links to Pakistani militants and Pakistani state actors, has put the focus again on Pakistan’s link to the Mumbai terror spree.

While the details of the foreign secretary-level talks are yet to become clear, Home Minister P. Chidambaram upped the pressure on Islamabad about the disclosures made by Jundal and asserted that it has confirmed that that the terror attack was controlled from Pakistan.

“We now know how the control room functioned. So I think the dots are being connected. It is no longer possible for anyone to deny that the incident happened in Mumbai but the control of the incident, before and during the incident was in Pakistan,” Chidambaram said here Wednesday.

Jundal’s interrogation showed how the control room of the Mumbai terror attack functioned, he said.

Jundal, who hails from Beed in Maharashtra, has confessed to being amongst those directing the 10 Pakistani terrorists who docked in Mumbai on the night of Nov 26, 2008, sources in the investigation team have said.

He was arrested at the airport in Delhi June 21 after his deportation from Saudi Arabia.

Jundal is being interrogated by several investigating teams, including the Intelligence Bureau, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad team and a special Delhi Police team.

Jundal’s passport shows his present and permanent address in Pakistan and his visa for Saudi Arabia had been also issued on the Pakistani passport. Islamabad has been in denial, calling Jundal’s passport fake.


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