Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Thursday, 8 January 2009

India accuses Pakistan on gunman

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Qasab
Gunman Ajmal Qasab is the only surviving attacker

India has criticised Pakistan for the way it reversed its stance on Ajmal Qasab, the only surviving gunman from the attacks on Mumbai.

Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said there was a "consistent flip-flop" in Islamabad's reaction.

Islamabad on Wednesday accepted Qasab was a Pakistani citizen after weeks of refusing to confirm it.

Pakistan sacked its national security adviser for "lack of coordination" following the admission.

Ajmal Qasab was among the 10 gunmen who attacked multiple locations in Mumbai on 26 November, killing 173 people.


Mr Mukherjee told a gathering of non-resident Indians in the southern city of Chennai (Madras): "[Qasab] has told us quite categorically where he comes from, where he received military and arms training and where his handlers are located.

"Unfortunately, despite this, we have seen a consistent flip-flop in the reaction of the government in Islamabad."

Pranab Mukherjee
Mr Mukherjee said the gunman's origin was "quite categorical"
Mr Mukherjee said that more than a month after the attacks "there continues to be recalcitrance in bringing the perpetrators to justice".

Ajmal Qasab was detained on the first night of the attacks and faces charges in India of murder, attempted murder, waging war against a country and criminal conspiracy.

For weeks, Islamabad had refused to confirm his identity, saying his name was not listed in the national database of citizens.

But on Wednesday, Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman told the BBC that Ajmal Qasab was a Pakistani citizen.

It is the first time Pakistan has acknowledged any links to the gunman.

National security adviser Mehmood Ali Durrani was sacked hours after the official confirmation for failing to share information with politicians.

Taj Mahal hotel on fire - 27/11/2008
The attacks left 173 people dead
An official statement from the prime minister's office spoke in general terms but blamed Mr Durrani's "irresponsible behaviour for not taking the prime minister and other stakeholders into confidence, and a lack of coordination on matters of national security".

Meanwhile, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Delhi would "not allow the forces of terrorism and extremism to destabilise our polity, our economy and our society".

"We will continue to work with the international community to ensure that there are no safe havens and launching pads for terrorists," he said.

Earlier this week, Mr Singh said that because of the "sophistication and military precision of the attack it must have had the support of some official agencies in Pakistan".

Pakistan rejected Mr Singh's allegations and accused India of raising regional tension.

India says all 10 gunmen who attacked multiple locations in Mumbai in November were from the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

India has provided Pakistan with a dossier of evidence which, it says, links the Mumbai attackers to elements in Pakistan.

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