M A I N   N E W S

Kasab can’t be handed over, India tells Pak

Islamabad/New Delhi, February 14
Pakistan said on Saturday it could seek the custody of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the Mumbai mayhem, if its investigations required this, but India immediately nixed the idea.

“If Ajmal Kasab is needed for the investigation process, then India could be asked (to hand) him over,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Karachi.

India was quick to react, saying there was no way this could happen.” The crime was committed in India. There is no question of handing Kasab to them. In fact, Pakistan should hand over to India the other suspects they’ve arrested because they were responsible for this terror attack. It can’t be the other way around,” sources in the Indian External Affairs Ministry said in New Delhi.

“On what basis do we send Kasab out there? The crime was committed out here (in Mumbai), therefore logic and reasoning demands that the suspects who they’ve rounded up be sent here (to India),” the sources said.

According to Malik, “We first had to register an FIR (first information report on the Mumbai strikes). This has been done. Now, if our investigators recommend, we will ask for access to him (Kasab),” Malik added. “So far, we have not asked for Kasab’s custody,” the minister pointed out.

He said Kasab was one of the eight suspects named in the FIR registered by the Federal Investigation Agency on the Mumbai strikes. Six of the suspects have been arrested, while two are at large. Kasab is currently in the custody of the Mumbai police.

Reiterating what he had stated on Thursday when he admitted that the Mumbai attacks were “partly” planned in Pakistan, Malik urged India to respond to the queries it had raised on the dossier New Delhi had submitted on January 5 pointing to the involvement of elements from this country in the Mumbai carnage.

“We have asked India for more information so that we can go to court. We are accountable to the people of Pakistan and to the courts and we want to ensure justice is delivered,” Malik maintained.

“We have to protect the interests of the nation. We have to ensure that the interests of our people are protected,” he added.

Pakistan had previously been in denial mode on Kasab’s nationality. — IANS



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