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Pakistani Officials Still Waiting for Evidence in India Attack


The top U.S. military official is in Pakistan in an effort to reduce tensions with India following last week's terrorist attack in Mumbai. Admiral Mike Mullen arrived after President Asif Zardari indicated that Pakistan will not hand over 20 named suspects, even if India offers proof of links to the attack. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from Islamabad.

Indian officials say they have one Pakistani man in custody and other evidence that the attackers had links to Pakistani militants. But Pakistani President Asif Zardari says he doubts the detained man is Pakistani and he is still waiting for India to present evidence tying the attacks to groups in his country.

In an interview broadcast on CNN, Mr. Zardari said India's list of 20 fugitives wanted in connection with the attack is not enough evidence for Pakistani authorities to detain them.

"At the moment these are just names of individuals - no proof, no investigation, nothing has been brought forward," he said.

U.S. officials have said that it is still too soon to definitively determine who was responsible, but there are indications of links with a militant group partly based in Pakistan.

While India has demanded that Pakistani authorities hand over the 20 suspects, Mr. Zardari indicated that even if India provides evidence of their involvement, the suspects will remain in Pakistan.

"If we had the proof we would try them in our courts, we would try them in our land, and we would sentence them," added Mr. Zardari.

Senior U.S. officials are in both countries trying to defuse tensions. After Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in New Delhi, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen landed in Islamabad to meet with senior Pakistani officials. Secretary Rice is expected in the Pakistani capital later in the week.

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