Qureshi cautious in reacting on Kasab verdict

Foreign Minister Qureshi was today non-committal on the issue of accepting conviction by an Indian court of Kasab for involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Islamabad: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood
Qureshi was on Tuesday non-committal on the issue of accepting the
conviction by an Indian court of Pakistani national Ajmal Amir
Kasab for involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Asked during an interview by a TV news channel if
Pakistan would accept Kasab`s conviction and the award of any
stiff punishment to him by the court in Mumbai, Qureshi
replied: "They (India) have a legal process and we have to
observe it".

"We are yet to get the detailed judgement (on Kasab`s
conviction). We will examine it and then give a response," he

Qureshi acknowledged that the Indian court had held Kasab
responsible for the Mumbai attacks and noted that the trial of
some Pakistani suspects too was underway.

"They have held Ajmal Kasab sahab responsible and the
trial of some people is going on in Pakistan. There are
linkages (between the two issues) and we have to see the
detailed judgement.

"Our process is on, the matter is sub-judice and I will
respond with caution," he said.

Asked if the Indian court`s acquittal of two Indian
citizens who were tried along with Kasab had raised doubts
about the credibility of the case, Qureshi replied: "We have
to see on what basis they were acquitted and why the court
gave such a verdict".

"Till we get a detailed report, it would not be proper
for me to comment," he said.

A Rawalpindi-based anti-terrorism court is currently
conducting the trial of seven Pakistani suspects, including
Lashker-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who have been
charged with planning and facilitating the attacks in India`s
financial hub that killed 166 people.

Asked if the Pakistan government will ensure that Lakhvi
and the other suspects are convicted, Qureshi replied: "We
can`t get them convicted, the court has to decide. We can`t
presume (anything and we will) make our decision after the
court gives its judgement".

In response to another question on what the government
would do if Lakhvi and the other suspects are freed, he said,
"How can I presume what the judgement of the court will be? We
should wait for the judgement and see it.

"On our part, the prosecution presented its case (in the
court) on the basis of all the information and evidence we had
and we will take (the case) to its logical conclusion," he

Asked whether the government will provide legal
assistance to Kasab, Qureshi replied: "Let`s see the verdict.
Then we will see whether he is guilty or not. A trial is on in
Pakistan and both issues are linked".