Beijing: Pakistan President Asif Ali
Zardari on Saturday ruled out handing over the perpetrators of the
Mumbai attacks to India but said the "non-state actors" who
derailed the Indo-Pak rapprochement will "hopefully" be
brought to justice in his country.
Zardari, who concluded a five-day visit to China, told
the state-run CCTV in an interview that Pakistanis involved in
the Mumbai attacks cannot be handed over to India as there was
no extradition treaty between the two countries.
"I do not think it works like that between two
nations. There has to be bilateral treaties of that sort which
do not exist between us. But we are trying those people in
Pakistan. Hopefully we will bring the offenders to justice,"
He said the non-state actors who attacked Mumbai had
succeeded in derailing the India-Pak peace process, but hoped
India`s "mature democracy" would show "foresight" in taking
forward the resumed talks.
"I will remind you that when the incident of Bombay
took place my Foreign Minister was in Delhi trying to sign a
treaty with the Indians for a rapprochement, in that we had
the concept of fighting terrorists together also," he said.
However, the "non-state actors" managed to stall it
for some time, he said.
"Now I think it is back on track and hopefully will go
forward," he said, insisting that Pakistan wants to be friends
with all its neighbours.
"India is (our) neighbour, (a) large neighbour. We are
from the same South Asia (background). Hopefully we both work
it out in a mature fashion and come together," he said.
He said Pakistan, as a "younger democracy" was always
willing to appreciate India`s "mature democracy" and expects
the latter to have "a mature posture and foresight better than
"But in any case we will do our part to make sure that
the future for the coming generations is better that the one
we inherited," he said.
Zardari, however, refused to give a clear response on
Pakistan`s opposition to India having a more active role in
He merely said Afghanistan is a sovereign country and
"I am not in a position to encourage or discourage".
There has been concern in Pakistan over India`s
growing influence in Afghanistan.
Asked if Pakistan believed the US was adopting double
standards in trying to have a relationship with both India and
Pakistan and whether Islamabad was not comfortable with this,
Zardari said: "we compliment that (triangular) relationship".
He pointed out that Pakistan did not oppose India`s
civil nuclear deal with the US.
"So we did not mind our friends having influence on
other friends which we want to influence with. As far as
Pakistan is concerned we are happy with the world to change
itself (in order) to become friends with everybody".
"We do not feel any hostility in the world that needs
to be there. Civilisation has to become even more civil as
time passes. These are not the times of olden age.
"Today everybody has to understand everybody`s
position taking into consideration and adopt itself to the
necessary circumstances time to time," he said.
Zardari also pledged to strengthen cooperation with
China over a railroad to connect the two sides and said his
country can be a "force multiplier" for China`s development.
"Pakistan can offer road links to China," he told
China Daily, expressing confidence that both countries can
benefit significantly from the rail link.
"China is advanced in the rail field, so we can
cooperate and develop together... We want to learn and
recreate your success," he said.
He also said more interaction was needed to combat
terrorism together and also pledged to share intelligence with
its `all-weather ally`.
Talking to CCTV, he also touched issues concerning
Pakistan`s domestic front and played down differences with
former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
"I think we will be able to complete our term and
survive the political turmoil".
He hoped that democracy, that has been derailed many
times in Pakistan, would eventually evolve with the effort of
Referring to Pakistan`s operations against the
Taliban, he said: "We are fighting last remains of cold war
which was crated by the world take on super power of that
time. They were in a time capsule. Hopefully we will be out of
On the Sino-Pak friendship, he said, the two countries
not only succeeded in connecting with each other through the
Karakoram highway but also helped each other diplomatically in