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Pakistan says attacks not planned there

A PAKISTANI investigation into the Mumbai attacks has shown they were not planned in Pakistan, the country's high commissioner to Britain told an Indian television news channel yesterday.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have exchanged heated rhetoric since the Mumbai attacks that killed 179 people last November.

India says they were carried out by Pakistani militants who must have had support from Pakistani state agencies. Pakistan denies that and says it will cooperate with Indian authorities.

"Pakistani territory was not used so far as the investigators have made their conclusions," Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Pakistan's high commissioner in Britain, told India's NDTV channel in an interview.

It was the first time a top Pakistani official had commented in any detail about a dossier of evidence that India handed to Pakistan early this month. Pakistan said the dossier contained information, not evidence.

The smoking gun India says it has is Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving member of the 10-man group which attacked several Mumbai landmarks. India says the men were all from Pakistan. But in what could be an argument Pakistan might make in its report, Hassan said Kasab's nationality did not necessarily prove the hand of Pakistan in the attacks.

"He does come from Pakistan, that doesn't mean that Pakistan has sponsored whatever he carried out in Mumbai that day," Hassan told Indian TV channel CNN-IBN.

"We are waiting for the report to be finalized and once the report comes it will make everything crystal clear. We do not think that evidence is credible."

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who is in Davos, Switzerland, said the investigation was still going on and its findings would be released "very soon."

"Whatever the dossier, whatever the information ... we are probing into it," he said in comments to an Indian television channel aired by a Pakistani television network.

Gilani also said only the Ministry of Interior was authorized to comment on the investigation.

Gilani repeated a Pakistani pledge that it would not allow terrorists to operate from its territory.


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