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PC accuses Pak of dragging feet on 26/ 11 probe.

UNION home minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday accused Pakistan of protecting masterminds of the 26/ 11 Mumbai attack.

He said Pakistan's efforts to pin only Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi as the mastermind were not enough and failed to satisfy India.

" Lakhvi is only one of the masterminds of the 26/ 11 attack. There are othersC* we know their names and we think Pakistan also knows their names," he said, referring to Lashkar- e- Tayyeba founder Hafiz Sayeed.

" If Pakistan does not bring the other masterminds to trial, I have to conclude, reluctantly and regretfully, that Pakistan is still dragging its feet," Chidambaram said.

He was reacting to a report submitted by Pakistani investigators to a court in Islamabad on Wednesday, terming Lakhvi as the 26/ 11 mastermind. The report, which incorporated confessions of lone surviving 26/ 11 attacker Mohammad Ajmal Qasab, made no mention of Sayeed's role or the involvement of any state actors in the conspiracy.

Chidambaram's remarks come ahead of his visit to Islamabad to take part in the SAARC interior/ home ministers' meet in February- end. If Chidambaram does make the trip, it will be the first by an Indian minister to Pakistan post- 26/ 11. He is expected to raise the issue of the Mumbai attack probe and the tense situation in the neighbourhood at the SAARC meeting.

A source in the home ministry said India was convinced Pakistan had chosen to spare terror ideologues such as Sayeed while sacrificing the operational hands of the Mumbai attack. " Sayeed has close links with the ISI and the Pakistani military establishment.

Hence, Islamabad cannot afford to act against him," the source said.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jan 29, 2010
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