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Pak hopes India`s positive response on Kasab`s custody

Pakistan on Wednesday contended that it wanted custody of Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist held during the Mumbai attacks, because of legal requirements.



Thimphu: Pakistan on Wednesday contended that it
wanted custody of Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist held during
the Mumbai attacks, because of legal requirements and hoped
that India would respond positively to its request for handing
him over.

"That is a legal requirement... India is currently
examining our request and we hope that they will get back with
a positive response," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul
Basit told reporters here when asked why his country has
demanded handing over of Kasab.

Kasab, a Pakistani-national, was among 10 terrorists who
struck in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. While nine of the
attackers were killed, Kasab was caught during the gun-fight.

He is currently undergoing trial in Mumbai and the court
will give verdict on May 3.

India has already indicated that it was not possible to
hand him over as the legal processes against him were going on
in the country.

On the possibility of meeting between Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza
Gilani, Basit said there was "confusion" in India.

"As our Foreign Minister has said time has come for India
to make up its mind as to what kind of engagement it wants. It
seems there is some confusion," the Pakistani spokesman said.

He said, "India has to make up its mind because there are
serious issues involved and this confusion will give advantage
to forces which are against (normal relations) between the two
countries".

He added, "this (proposed) meeting was part of our
roadmap which was given to India in New York by our Foreign
Minister (Shah Mahmood Qureshi) to Indian External Affairs
Minister (S M Krishna) and then again by our Foreign Secretary
(Salman Bashir) to Indian Foreign Secretary (Nirupama Rao) on
February 25 in New Delhi.

Queried about Pakistan`s stand when a meeting between the
Prime Ministers takes place, Basit said both the countries
have realised that there has to be a meaningful and
constructive dialogue.

"... our Prime Minister`s effort will be to start such an
engagement so that all the issues of terrorism and others are
solved".

Asked whether Krishna and Qureshi had a meeting here on
sidelines of SAARC Foreign Ministers` meeting, he said they
did shake hands but there was no formal meeting between them.

"No formal or informal meeting happened," he insisted
when asked if there was an informal interaction.

On the arrest of an Indian diplomat posted in Islamabad
on charges of spying for ISI, the Pakistan Foreign Office
spokesman dubbed it as an "internal matter" about which his
government has not been told anything officially.

He said the incident would have no bearing on SAARC
activities.

PTI

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