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No request received from India, Interpol on Mumbai suspects, says Pakistan

June 25, 2009 18:28 IST

Pakistan today said it has not received a formal request from India or Interpol to hand over 22 suspects in the Mumbai terror attacks even as it insisted it will take action against its nationals on its own soil.

Islamabad's reaction came two days after a Mumbai court issued non-bailable warrants against 22 Pakistanis, including JuD chief Hafiz Mohd Saeed and LeT's operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said that Islamabad has not received any official request from Interpol or India in connection with the arrest warrants issued for 22 Pakistani nationals by a special court in Mumbai.However, "I will not comment on their (Indian) legal process. We will follow our own procedure," he said.

Mumbai Special Court judge M L Tahaliyani issued the warrants on Tuesday after prosecution alleged the 22 suspects had trained Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist capture alive during the attacks, and nine others in Pakistan.

The warrants would be sent to the Interpol which will issue red corner notices to member countries and flash them all over to trace the absconders, public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had said in Mumbai.

Asked about the Mumbai court's warrants, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik separately made it clear that Islamabad would not hand over "any individual to India" simply on the basis of such warrants. 

Malik said the government will "carefully examine" any request received from Interpol as Pakistan is ready to cooperate with India in probing the Mumbai attacks. Speaking in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament yesterday, Minister of State Khan said the Indian government had demanded the extradition of people allegedly involved in the Mumbai attacks but President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had rejected thisdemand. The government had acted on evidence related to the Mumbai attacks that was provided by India and "more evidences were required from New Delhi for further action", he said. India has been asked to provide this evidence and Pakistan "would bring the people involved in the incident to justice but in our own country, not in India", Khan said.

Khan made the comments during a debate in the National Assembly on the performance of the foreign ministry in connection with allocations made for it in the current budget. Opposition members criticised the ministry for not taking steps to protect Pakistan's image after the Mumbai attacks. The special court in Mumbai has issued non-bailable arrest warrants for 22 Pakistanis, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who was recently released from detention on the orders of the Lahore High Court.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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