Saturday, January 8, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Try or deport hijackers, India tells Pak
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Jan 7 — India today asked Pakistan to either prosecute or hand over the five hijackers of the Indian Airline Airbus as Islamabad was a signatory to international conventions on hostage taking and hijacking.

The onus was on Pakistan as the hijackers were widely believed to be in that country, a spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said here.

Asked if any country had questioned the evidence relating to the hijacking made public by New Delhi yesterday, the spokesman said: “We have no feedback from anywhere which questions the veracity of what we have stated”.

The spokesman said Islamabad must react as it was a signatory to a number of international conventions on hostage taking. “Pakistan should either prosecute or extradite the hijackers to India”, he pointed out. In response to another question on the statement of the US State Department asking Islamabad to prosecute militant leader Maulana Masood Azhar, the spokesman said it was “entirely understandable”.

The State Department spokesman, Mr James Rubin, had sternly warned that it would hold Islamabad responsible for all its “terrorist” activities which threatened the lives of Indian and US citizens.

The spokesman further said this was not for the first time that Islamabad’s complicity in terrorist activities had come to light. Even in the past the government in Islamabad had given patronage to terrorist groups and outfits.


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