No evidence that Pak is reliable partner to India

New Delhi: India had questioned Pakistan`s credibility in a meeting with ambassadors of various countries and its role in assisting investigations into the 26/11 Mumbai terror case, a WikiLeaks cable has revealed.

The cable disclosed minutes of the meeting the then Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon had with the US Ambassador David Mulford and fourteen other ambassadors on January 5, 2009 in which he had shared a dossier of evidence linking the Mumbai terrorist attacks to Pakistan.

During the meeting two months after the 26/11 attacks, the then Australian High Commissioner probed Menon on the joint investigative mechanism proposed by Pakistan.

"The fundamental problem is that Pakistan continues to deny any links to the attacks," Menon had said, adding, "so what would be the point of a joint mechanism as long as they deny there is anything there to investigate?"

"Menon said India would investigate in India, and vice versa, but India had now provided the results of its investigation and it was up to Pakistan to cooperate. He observed, for instance, that Pakistan claimed to ban Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), but the organisation continues to update its website." There is, according to Menon, "no evidence that Pakistan is a reliable partner," the cable said.

"The dossier highlights the Pakistani origin of the attackers and Pakistan-based support for the attacks, but does not explicitly implicate officials of the Pakistan Government or security services," the cable said.

During the meeting, an MEA officer had ran through a 118-slide presentation covering five topics: (1) Evidence (of Pakistani links to the attacks), (2) Pakistan`s responses after the Mumbai attacks; (3) Evidence of Pakistani links to terrorism shared with Pakistan from August 2004 to November 2008; (4) Pakistan`s obligations (under international law); and 5) What Pakistan should do?

"In his remarks following the presentation, Menon`s bottom line was that there could not be `business as usual` until Pakistan investigated the evidence provided and takes credible action to prevent future attacks. The Indian government had `consciously refrained` from imposing a long list of demands or going public with this evidence, but Pakistan`s actions thus far inspired `little reason to hope for a constructive reply`," the cable said.

Menon, according to the cable, also pin pointed the role of Pakistani government in the 2008 terror attack.

"…it was `inconceivable` that the Mumbai attacks could have been executed without the knowledge or assistance of `the real power in Pakistan.` Lashkar-e-Tayiba is not just a threat to India; it trained many more terrorists than took part in the Mumbai attacks and champions an ideology that inspires activists from Sudan to South East Asia," the cable said quoting Menon.

Menon met the envoys of countries such as the US, the UK, Japan, Israel, Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Jordan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Mexico, whose citizens were among the victims of the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Menon, a 1972-batch IFS officer, was Foreign Secretary between October 2006 and July 2010.

Menon told the meeting that he personally felt "the key is Kasab" and added that as long as Pakistan continued to deny his citizenship it had no reason to admit there was anything to investigate there.

Regarding the role of Saudi Arabia and China in influencing Pakistan, Menon said, "They have a choice to make as well," the cable reads.

Ambassador Mulford asked Menon for India`s views on policies toward Pakistan beyond encouraging evidence sharing, such as the planned donor conference and Pakistan`s IMF loan.

Menon replied that the official answer was that India seeks a peaceful, stable Pakistan, but added that Pakistan is comprised of many power centers loosely coordinated.

He said, "We need to ask ourselves what we have done with Pakistan over the years and what it has resulted in, because old habits will yield the same results." "This is a defining moment," he cautioned, "People here will judge our relationship with countries based on how they respond," it said.

On the progress made by FBI investigation into the case, Mulford, according to the cable, said: "The Government of India appears to have withheld consent to share the results of FBI investigations with Pakistan in order to control precisely what information reaches Islamabad. Today`s diplomatic effort appears designed to maximise international pressure on Pakistan, as India seeks to enlist support from those nations who lost citizens in November`s attacks in Mumbai."