Access to Headley Logical Next Step, India Tells US

By Arun Kumar

Washington, June 4 (IANS) With a team of Indian investigators waiting to question Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley, who has confessed to his role in the Mumbai terror attack, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Thursday told the US that providing access to him "is perhaps the logical next step".

"I am happy to note the tremendous progress that we have made in strengthening our counter-terrorism cooperation, particularly since the Mumbai terror attack," Krishna said as he and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initiated the first India-US strategic dialogue here.

"We value the support we have received from the US government in our investigations. In this regard, access for our authorities to persons who have been apprehended by your government in connection with Mumbai terror attack is the logical next step," Krishna said.

"We are confident that our continued cooperation will lead to realisation of this objective," Krishna said without naming Headley, who changed his given name of Daood Gilani two years ago to scout targets in Mumbai without raising suspicion about his religion or Pakistani origin.

India has been seeking access to Headley, 49, currently lodged in a Chicago prison, to unravel the conspiracy surrounding the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. The US has assured India that it would give access to him.

President Barack Obama had in April assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that India would get direct access to Headley.

However, US officials have been tight lipped about when and how a team from India's National Investigation Agency (NIA), currently camping in the US, would get access to Headley.


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Title: Access to Headley Logical Next Step, India Tells US

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