Modi raises cross-border terrorism, 26/11 trial progress with Sharif
Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue of cross-border terrorism and sought the speedy trial of accused involved in the 26/11 terror strike on Mumbai during his meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif here on Tuesday, said Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh.
"In the meeting with the Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined our concerns relating to terrorism. Modi also conveyed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan must ensure the speedy trial of the accused in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case, and underlined that Pakistan must abide by its commitment to prevent its territory from being used for terror," Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh told media here at an evening press conference.
The 2008 Mumbai attacks were twelve coordinated shooting and bombing terrorist attacks lasting four days across Mumbai by members of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Ajmal Kasab, the only attacker who was captured alive, later confessed upon interrogation that the attacks were conducted with the support of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday, 26 November and lasted until Saturday, 29 November 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308.
Eight of the attacks occurred in South Mumbai: at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital (a women and children's hospital), the Nariman House Jewish community centre, the Metro Cinema, and in a lane behind the Times of India building and St. Xavier's College.
There was also an explosion at Mazagaon, in Mumbai's port area, and in a taxi at Vile Parle.
By the early morning of 28 November, all sites except for the Taj hotel had been secured by Mumbai Police and security forces.
On 29 November, India's National Security Guards (NSG) conducted Operation Black Tornado to flush out the remaining attackers; it resulted in the deaths of the last remaining attackers at the Taj hotel and ending all fighting in the attacks.
Kasab disclosed that the attackers were members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, considered a terrorist organisation by India, Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations, among others.
The Government of India said that the attackers came from Pakistan, and their controllers were in Pakistan. On 7 January 2009, Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman officially accepted Ajmal Kasab's nationality as Pakistani. On 12 February 2009, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik asserted that parts of the attack had been planned in Pakistan.
A trial court on 6 May 2010 sentenced Ajmal Kasab to death on all the 86 charges for which he was convicted. On his appeal against this verdict, the Bombay High Court on 21 February 2011 and Supreme Court of India on 29 August 2012 upheld his death sentence.
Kasab was executed by hanging at Yerwada Jail in Pune on 21 November 2012.
The issue of cross-border terrorism and cease-fire violations has been a problem bedevilling relations between New Delhi and Islamabad since the late 1980s
Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh said that the issue of promoting and enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries was also discussed, and added that the two Prime Ministers have instructed their respective foreign secretaries to talk and meet, and to discuss the way forward. She did not provide further details.
Earlier, Sharif met Modi at Hyderabad House for a nearly hour long meeting. Before the meeting started, Sharif and Modi shook hands and exchanged pleasantries during their photo opportunity before moving inside for bilateral talks in the presence of officials from both sides.
(Posted on 27-05-2014)
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