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'India would like to get access to Headley, Rana'

Source: PTI
December 08, 2009 22:27 IST
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India has said that it would like to get "access" to arrested US terror suspects David Coleman Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Rana for interrogation following incriminating evidence about their role in the Mumbai attacks.

It also said that it expects a satisfactory solution to the problem of terrorism in Pakistan while dealing with the larger issue of terrorism emanating form that country and Afghanistan.

"We would like to have access to interrogate these accused (Headley and Rana) persons," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told newsmen accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his return home from Moscow on Tuesday.

She was replying to a question whether India would seek the extradition of Headley and Rana, who are currently in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Chicago in the US.

Her comments came a day after US authorities charged Headley with criminal conspiracy in the Mumbai attacks. Rao said it has emerged that there were lots of incriminating evidence about the role of Headley and Rana in planning the Mumbai attacks.

Available evidence also suggested that some of the conspirators of the 26/11 attacks were from Pakistan, she said.

Replying to questions, Rao hoped that Pakistan would be able to safeguard its nuclear assets in a manner that there is no threat in the region.

She noted that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had expressed the view that care should be taken to ensure that Islamabad's nuclear assets do not fall into the hands of terrorists or rogue elements in the Islamic nation.

The foreign secretary said Russia has been sensitised on the threat of Pakistan's nuclear assets falling into the hands of terror or rogue elements in the backdrop of fears in this regard.

Rao said India does not see merit in drawing false distinctions between "good and bad" Taliban in Pakistan.

A joint declaration issued after Singh-Medvedev summit on Monday had agreed that the fight terrorism cannot be selective and drawing false distinction between good and bad Taliban would be counter-productive. Rao said India's candidature for permanent UN Security Council seat is "serious".

"Our case to become a permanent member of the UNSC in every sense of the term is a serious one," she said. Rao's comments came in the backdrop of Russia's strong backing at the just-concluded Summit level talks during which Moscow said New Delhi should be a permanent member of the UNSC.

The foreign secretary said India is also making a bid to become a non-permanent member at the UNSC next year and was getting enough support from friends and partners.

On climate change, Rao said Medvedev and Singh at their talks in Moscow underscored the need to work for a consensus to ensure that the ongoing Copenhagen Summit had a successful outcome.

Replying to questions, Rao said India is working out arrangements to ensure that Russian engineers had no problems in getting employment visas for their travel to Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu in line with the bilateral civil atomic energy cooperation.
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