India to seek access to question Rana

Astana: India on Friday hoped that the U.S. will provide it access to Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana, arrested in Chicago over the Mumbai attacks, in the wake of his claim that he provided support to 26/11 terrorists at the behest of Pakistani government and ISI.

Rana’s statement has only confirmed further what India has always maintained about the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI in the 2008 terrorist attack, sources said.

They said India hoped the U.S. would grant it access to him so that he could be questioned further on the conspiracy behind the 26/11 attacks in which 166 people were killed.

Earlier, the U.S. had granted India access to Rana’s associate David Coleman Headley, an LeT operative who has confessed to plotting the Mumbai attacks.

At the same time, the sources said the dialogue process initiated with Pakistan recently would not be affected by this development.

The request by Indian investigators to question Rana was sent to authorities in the U.S. after gathering evidence about his involvement in the planning of the 26/11 attacks and a reply from Washington is expected by May-end.

The request was sent under the Mutual legal Assistance Treaty between the two countries.

In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that there is no dilution in India’s position that all those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks should be brought to justice expeditiously and the on-going dialogue with Pakistan will seek to address the country’s terrorism-related concerns.

“It is our expectation that all those responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack will be brought to justice expeditiously. This position is shared by the international community at large, particularly those countries whose nationals were killed during this horrific attack,” the Ministry said.