Zabiuddin arrest: Pak says trying to collect details

Islamabad/New Delhi: A day after India announced the arrest of a key handler of LeT terrorists who struck Mumbai in 2008, Pakistan today said it was trying to collect details from New Delhi on the matter.

Abul Jundal alias Syed Zabiuddin, 30, accused of issuing directions from a Pakistan-based `control room` to 10 terrorists who went on a rampage in Mumbai in November 2008 killing 166 people, was detained in Saudi Arabia and sent to India five days ago. Pakistan`s Foreign Ministry said it was collecting details about Zabiuddin`s arrest.

"We are in touch with our mission in New Delhi and trying to figure out the situation," Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune today. Meanwhile in New Delhi, the Pakistan High Commission in a statement said terrorism is a common concern and Islamabad has been at the forefront in the campaign against it.

"As agreed at the highest level between Pakistan and India, terrorism is a common concern and counter-terrorism cooperation is in the mutual interest of both countries. Pakistan has renewed its offer of cooperation in this domain," the statement said without elaborating. Pakistani security analysts said Saudi Arabia`s reported role in the handing over of Zabiuddin reflected pragmatism on Riyadh`s part. "It looks to be based on real politicking wherein Saudi authorities preferred pragmatism over anything else," said Imtiaz Gul, who heads an Islamabad-based think tank.

Lt Gen (retired) Talat Masood agreed with Gul. "Public perception is different but it might have not been a difficult decision for Saudi leaders," he said. Meanwhile, some LeT activists, who once trained in the terror group`s camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and northern parts of the country, said Zabiuddin`s name sounded familiar to them, the daily said without giving further details.

Separately, Jamaat-ud-Dawah, declared a front for the LeT by the UN Security Council, sought to distance itself from Zabiuddin. "Indians say he belongs to the LeT… we don`t recognise the group. We are Jamaat-ud-Dawah. We are a charity involved in social welfare and not terrorists," JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid was quoted as saying by the Tribune.