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Pakistan says no to extradition treaty

New Delhi/ Islamabad, August 29
Pakistan has shot down an Indian proposal for an extradition treaty between the two countries, saying the time has not arrived for such a step. India had mooted the proposal during the Home Secretary-level talks in Islamabad earlier this month, sources said.

They said New Delhi, which was represented by Union Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh, had sought assistance for preparing grounds for having an Indo-Pak extradition treaty whereby criminals of each other’s nationality could be handed over to face trial.

The issue figured during Mr Dhirendra Singh’s talks with Pakistani counterpart Tariq Mahmood in Islamabad on August 11-12.

The Pakistani side showed no inclination for doing any groundwork for the treaty, saying the time had not come for such a step.

In Islamabad, rejecting Indian External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh’s assertion that cross-border terrorism continued, Pakistan today said the charge was being used as a “smokescreen” to divert attention from the “real core issue” of Kashmir.

It also said that there were no Indian suspects on Pakistani soil.

Commenting on Mr Natwar Singh’s remarks yesterday that cross-border terrorism was continuing and that he would raise the issue with Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri when they met in New Delhi on September 5-6, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan said his country’s delegation would hear the Indian side.

“The Indian External Affairs Minister has expressed his intent of what he wants to discuss with our Foreign Minister. Our side will hear out the Indian side, as we have always done,” he said in a statement.

On Mr Natwar Singh’s comments that India had added five more names to the list of 20 wanted persons and handed it over to Pakistan, Mr Khan said: “There are no wanted Indian suspects on Pakistani soil.

In the last round of talks on terrorism held here in Islamabad, lists were exchanged by both sides, but such matters are not discussed through the media.”

Referring to the 71 confidence-building measures forwarded by India in the talks on an eight-point composite dialogue, Mr Khan said the focus should be on quality, not quantity.

“Let’s not focus on quantity, but quality. This is not a numbers game. We have also presented a number of proposals. All proposals are on the table. All measures have to be discussed, chaffed and winnowed.

Even more pivotal is the need to create durable peace and security through resolution of all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. No issue can be swept under the carpet,” he said. — PTI

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