Pakistan to issue Mumbai findings; U.S. envoy coming

ISLAMABAD Fri Feb 6, 2009 8:14pm IST

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is seen during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in this January 29, 2009 file photo. Pakistan will publish findings of its investigation into November's militant attacks in Mumbai early next week, Gilani said on Friday. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is seen during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in this January 29, 2009 file photo. Pakistan will publish findings of its investigation into November's militant attacks in Mumbai early next week, Gilani said on Friday.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse/Files

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan will publish findings of its investigation into November's militant attacks in Mumbai early next week, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Friday.

Gilani also said newly appointed U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke would be visiting Pakistan on Monday.

Relations between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have been strained since militants killed 179 people in Mumbai.

India blamed the banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group for the attacks in its commercial hub and said there must have been support from Pakistani security agencies.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said this week Pakistan's main spy agency was linked to planners behind the attack, the first time the government has directly named the organisation in connection with the raids.

Pakistan has denied any involvement by state agencies and has said it was investigating a dossier of information from India.

"We will publish a report ... by Monday or Tuesday on the information given in their dossier," Gilani told reporters in the city of Lahore.

India said the dossier contained the confession of a surviving attacker, satellite phone intercepts between the attackers and their handlers in Pakistan, and a list of Pakistani-made weapons used by the militants.

A Pakistani rejection of the Indian dossier would inevitably inflame tension between the neighbours who have fought three wars since their independence from the Britain in 1947.

Menon accused Pakistan of "prevarication" in investigating the attacks and bringing to justice the perpetrators who he said were "clients and creations" of the military's ISI spy agency.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry rejected Menon's comment.

"It was yet another manifestation of undisguised hostility and global smear campaign being conducted by India against Pakistan," the ministry said in a statement.

"CONFUSION" OVER HOLBROOKE

Gilani, announcing that Holbrooke would be visiting on Monday, said there was confusion over the envoy's mandate.

Pakistan had expected the United States to appoint an envoy for South Asia as a whole, including India and the divided Kashmir region, the core dispute between India and Pakistan.

But India objects to any outside effort to get involved in Kashmir, which both Pakistan and India claim in full but rule in part.

"There is still confusion (over) whether he is in charge of the region or he is only confined to Afghanistan and Pakistan," Gilani said, adding terrorism was a regional problem and should be dealt with regionally.

"We welcome Richard Holbrooke for special envoy to Pakistan, Afghanistan and for the region ... and we will discuss with him our regional problem related to terrorism and extremism."

Holbrooke, a foreign policy veteran appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama last month, is also due to visit Afghanistan and India on what a U.S. State Department spokesman said this week would be "an orientation trip".

"He is not carrying any messages ... he is going there to listen," spokesman Robert Wood told reporters in Washington.

An Indian government official said Kashmir was not part of Holbrooke's brief.

"If the U.S. is hoping to bring peace to Afghanistan, it will obviously have to take India into account. We believe his visit will be for that. He wouldn't be here if it were for Kashmir," said the official, who declined to be identified.

(Additional reporting by Augustine Anthony and Krittivas Mukherjee)

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