M A I N   N E W S

Pak not to hand over any suspect

Islamabad, October 2
A day after New Delhi said it would confront Islamabad with the evidence of its involvement in the Mumbai blasts, Pakistan today promised it would take action against any of its nationals having links with the attack if provided information about it but would not hand over any suspect.

“If India feels it is not propagandist and it feels that it has some information that suggests links with some people, some kind of connection, yes, we will take action and help India investigate,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters here.

However, she made it clear that Pakistan would not hand over anybody to India. “But at the same time nobody would be handed over,” she said.

She termed as “propagandist” Mumbai Police Commissioner A.N. Roy’s assertions that the ISI had masterminded the blasts which were carried out by the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and SIMI.

She said Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon had not spoken about the involvement of the ISI. “The Indian Foreign Secretary did not say that the ISI was involved. It was the Mumbai Police Commissioner who made these allegations,” she said.

Asked whether India had forwarded evidence, she said: “We have not received anything yet.”

She said Indian officials had been making allegations before the Indian media about the involvement of Pakistan in the violence. “We have already said the Mumbai police allegations, like the earlier allegations, are not based on facts. They are propagandist and Indian officials and media have been doing this in the past.

“The purpose of issuing such statements is to divert attention from Indian elements who are behind terror attacks in Mumbai and Malegaon. This is all internal. This is another effort to externalise internal malaise,” she said.

Asked whether India’s focus on terror was aimed at sidelining the Kashmir issue, she said: “No core issue can be sidelined and put on the backburner. Terror is a problem and menace that affects all of us generally. There is no link between the two.”—PTI



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