M A I N   N E W S

Hafiz, Azhar will not be handed over, says Zardari

New York, December 3
President Asif Ali Zardari has rejected India’s demand to hand over LeT chief Hafiz Mohd Sayeed and other fugitives in the wake of Mumbai Terror attacks and doubted whether the arrested terrorist is a Pakistani national.

Two days after New Delhi’s demarche (protest note) demanding the handing over of 20 fugitives, Zardari made known Pakistan’s reluctance to part with them.

“If we had proof, we would try them in our courts. We would try them in our land and we would sentence them,” he said appearing on “Larry King Live” programme on CNN last night.

India’s list of 20 most wanted criminals given to Pakistan included underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.

India is awaiting Pakistan’s response before deciding on the options it could exercise. New Delhi’s outrage was voiced by external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee who said the country has every right to protect its territorial integrity and will take “appropriate action” as it feels necessary to deal with the terror strikes emanating from Pakistan.

The minister also did not rule out military strikes against terror camps in Pakistan.

Zardari said that he also doubted India’s claim that the sole surviving gunman, who was captured by Indian security forces, was a Pakistani national.

“We have not been given any tangible proof to say that he is definitely a Pakistani. I very much doubt that he’s a Pakistani,” he said.

Zardari denied Pakistan’s involvement in the attacks, saying the terror strikes were executed by the “Stateless actors” who wanted to hold the “entire world hostage.”

“These (terrorists) are stateless actors who have been operating throughout the region. They include gunmen and the planners and are holding the entire world hostage,” he said.

“State of Pakistan is not responsible for the attacks in Mumbai... even the White House and the US intelligence agency CIA have said so,” he said.

The President ruled out any possibility of Pakistan and India going to war, saying “democracies do not go to war”.

The three wars, India and Pakistan have fought, took place during dictatorships in Pakistan, he said. Zardari said this is time to come together, do a joint investigation and look at the problem in the larger context.

“The threat is in the region and just not to Bombay or to India. The threat (also is) to the State of Pakistan,” he added. — PTI



RDX found inside CST

Mumbai, December 3
A week after the terrorists struck Mumbai in a big way, two bags containing four kg RDX were found inside Chhatrapati Shivaji rail terminus here today, Joint Commissioner of Police Rakesh Maria said. The bags were found among abandoned luggages of persons who had been injured or killed in the terror attack on the night of November 26. The bags had been taken away by the Bomb Disposal Squad, Maria said, adding searches were being conducted in the station premises. — PTI



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