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No dilution on extradition demand: India

January 16, 2009 16:45 IST
Last Updated: January 16, 2009 18:02 IST


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India on Friday said there was no dilution in its stand that Pakistan must hand over the perpetrators of terrorism to face the law in India.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] asked Pakistan to undertake a full investigation into the November 26 Mumbai [Images] attacks in a sincere, transparent and verifiable manner to unveil the full conspiracy into the terror strikes.

"There is no question of dilution of our demand of extradition," Mukherjee said while clarifying on reports that quoted his as saying that the terrorists may be tried in Pakistan.

"We have never given up the demand that perpetrators of the terror acts should be handed over to India. There is no question of that we have given up that demand or we have climbed down," he said.

"The fact that dastardly terror crimes have been committed in India, therefore the perpetrators must face Indian justice. This is not an 'either-or' situation as these things are not mutually exclusive," he said.

Mukherjee was responding when asked clarify on his statement to a TV channel that the attackers of Mumbai may be tried in Pakistan if it was not possible for Pakistan to hand them over to India for some reason.

Making it clear that Islamabad [Images] should have no legal issues in handing over those behind terrorism in India, Mukherjee cited for the first time the 1972 Extradition Act of Pakistan which provides for transfer of persons suspected of committing crimes in countries with which Pakistan has no extradition treaty.

The treaty, the external affairs minister said, specifically provides for extradition even when there is no bilateral extradition treaty.

He cited the 1972 Extradition Act of Pakistan to nail Islamabad's argument that it cannot hand over any person as it has no extradition treaty with India.

The section 4(1) of the 1972 Extradition Act of Pakistan clearly says that if a person, "accused or convicted of offences at places within, or within the jurisdiction of, a foreign state, are or are suspected to be in Pakistan should be returned to the state,  notwithstanding that there is no extradition treaty with that state."

Mukherjee said the SAARC Convention on Terrorism [Images] also has the same intent and such provisions are there in other international instruments.

Pointing out that major terrorist acts have been committed in India, he said these were planned and launched from Pakistan. Only full investigations, which are transparent and verifiable, in Pakistan can unveil the full conspiracy.

He said India has requested Pakistan to take sincere and effective steps in that direction.

"It is Pakistan's responsibility that individuals based in Pakistan do not commit criminal acts in other countries and then have effective immunity simply because they are Pakistani nationals," Mukherjee said.




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