Pillais remarks blown out of proportion: PC

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 3 2010, 04:35am hrs
Ahead of President Barack Obamas visit to India, the home ministry on Monday nuanced its position on the issue of United States not sharing specific information about David Coleman Headleythe alleged planner of Mumbai terror strikessaying its complaint in this regard had been blown out of proportion.

Home minister P Chidambaram said the US did share intelligence information on Headley before and after the Mumbai attacks, though his name had not been mentioned.

Just a few days ago, home secretary GK Pillai had said that New Delhi had been disappointed with the fact that the US had not shared Headleys name with India, even subsequent to the Mumbai attacks because of which Headley could travel to India in March 2009 without being apprehended.

Chidambaram conceded that Headleys name was shared with India for the first time in October 2009 though he was being tracked by the US authorities since 2001.

The US did share intelligence with us. Intelligence was shared before 26/11 and after that as well. But his (Headleys) name was not mentioned, Chidambaram told reporters.

What they (the US authorities) knew about him (Headley) and when they knew about him with relation to his intentions about Mumbai attacks, is the subject of a full review in the US. We have been assured that the results of this review would be shared with us, he said.

Incidentally, US ambassador Tim Roemer called on Chidambaram on Monday and sources said Headley did figure in their discussions.

Pillais remarks were being widely viewed as ill-timed, coming as they did barely a week before Obamas arrival for a much-awaited four-day visit to India.

Headley was arrested by the US authorities in October last year from Chicago after which elaborate details of his role in planning the Mumbai attacks have emerged.

Chidambaram said the government would continue to pursue the option of extradition of Headley.