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Krishna asks Pak to ensure quick trial in 26/11 case

By Sagar Kulkarni
November 20, 2009 02:17 IST
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With India's patience running out, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Thursday asked his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi about the progress into the Mumbai terror attacks case and sought a quicker trial.

Krishna made the enquiries from Qureshi during their meeting at a lunch hosted by Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta in Kabul.

"I made enquiries about the progress they (Pakistan) have made about bringing to justice those who were responsible for the attack in Mumbai," said Krishna about his meeting with Qureshi in Kabul, where they had also attended the swearing-in ceremony of President Hamid Karzai.

Krishna, while talking to accompanying journalists on his way back to Delhi, said he had pointed out that there has been 'considerable delay' in the trial process.

Qureshi responded by saying that the trial had begun and it was going on, the external affairs minister said, adding that his Pakistani counterpart explained that it was a judicial process in which the government could not interfere.

Krishna said India fully understood the explanation but emphasised that "the trial should be quickened within the limitation of what the Executive can do."

Krishna's enquiries came in the backdrop of repeated postponements of the trial in Pakistan, against the seven accused arrested in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks, which is leading to prolonged delays. The delay has caused exasperation in the Indian administration, which feels that Pakistan is not serious enough in bringing to justice those responsible for the heinous crime.

Asked whether he had set any deadline for Pakistan, Krishna said, "I did not ask for a deadline but insisted that the trial should be quickened."

On whether Pakistan was serious in pursuing the case, the external affairs minister said, "I would not sit in judgment on the seriousness of Pakistan. It is for others to judge if Pakistan is serious. We hope that Pakistan realises the urgency of going through this process."

With the first anniversary of Mumbai terror attacks just a week away, India feels disappointed at the progress of the trial in Pakistan, which it feels is showing no 'sincerity or urgency' to bring the perpetrators to justice.

India, which suspended the composite dialogue after 26/11, has made it clear that no bilateral talks are possible in 'an environment of threat or terror'.   

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