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Extradition possible if ties better: Gilani

Islamabad, January 25
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has indicated that Pakistan may consider the option of extraditing terror suspects to India in the wake of the Mumbai attacks if the bilateral ties are "normalised".

"We are taking extremely seriously the dossier passed on to the government of Pakistan (by the Indian government). An investigation is already on and the results will come soon," he told the 'Financial Times' daily in an interview.

Replying to a question on whether he would ever agree to extradition of terror suspects to India, he said: "So far there is no such thing. But that depends on our normalisation of relations." Gilani described the New Year's greetings and peace message he had recently received from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as "a good sign".

Asked how quickly the Pakistani investigation into the Mumbai attacks would proceed, Gilani replied: "I don't want to step into the domain of the Interior Ministry but at the same time we have to act fast." The premier said he had also spoken to his Indian counterpart about extending full cooperation for further intelligence sharing.

"And even for getting to the culprits, we'll be needing their assistance," he said.

If any culprits are detected during the Pakistani investigation, the government would "proceed according to the law and we will ensure...that justice is done", he said.

Describing the Mumbai attacks as "extremely unfortunate", Gilani said terrorism had "no religion or boundary". "Terrorists are always terrorists. Therefore, when our resolve is to fight terrorism, whether it is in Mumbai or in the United Stated or anywhere else in the world, we all condemn it. They are the bad boys and we can't support them," he said.

"With this incident (Mumbai attacks), all our efforts (to improve ties) went futile. We have to restart our dialogue with India again...," Gilani said.

Asked if it was his understanding that the Mumbai attacks were launched from Pakistan, Gilani said: "No, this is not the issue because the government of India doesn't blame the government (of Pakistan), they don't even blame the organisations, institutions. They are only pointing out to the individuals, and individuals are from every part of the world."

Noting that Uzbek, Chechen, Arab and Afghan terrorists are operating in Pakistan, Gilani contended that such persons should be countered but an attack could not be launched on their country of origin. PTI

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