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August 3, 2000
Pakistan refuses to extradite hijackers
Islamabad has rejected India's formal request for extradition of Pakistani nationals involved in the hijacking of IC-814 in December 1999, the Rajya Sabha was informed Thursday.
In a written reply, Minister of State for External Affairs Ajit Kumar Panja said India had informed Pakistan that there were grounds to believe that the hijackers were present in the country. The Pakistan government, as a signatory to several international conventions against terrorism and also bilateral agreements with India is obliged to extradite them to India.
The Pakistan government had in response reiterated the general position that it would undertake to apprehend and prosecute any persons found on its territory or in Pakistan occupied Kashmir suspected of being involved in the hijacking. However, as at the same time Pakistan had rejected India's demand, its general commitment was of little value, Panja said.
In reply to another question about Pakistani Chief Executive Pervez Musharraf's offer to open talks with India at ''any time, any place and any level'', the minister said that India has called upon Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism and abandon hostile propaganda to create an environment for a dialogue.
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