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None will be handed over to India, says Pakistan

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December 12, 2008 20:55 IST

Taking exception to India's contention that "epicentre of terrorism" is located in Pakistan, Islamabad today warned that such comments would be counter-productive for joint efforts to combat the menace and insisted that none of those detained during the crackdown on JuD would be handed over to India.

Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari, during a meeting to discuss the situation in the country in the wake of the Mumbai attacks and subsequent tensions with India, termed the statements made by the Indian leadership on Pakistan as "most unfortunate", official sources were quoted as saying by Dawn News channel.

Zardari and Gilani were quoted by the sources as saying the comments of the Indian leaders would be counter-productive for joint efforts to combat terrorism in the region.

The two leaders "rejected" Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks in Parliament yesterday that the "epicentre of terrorism" is located in Pakistan, the sources said.

Zardari and Gilani said that action had been taken in the national interest against the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), the front organisation of the banned LeT blamed for the Mumbai attacks, which was yesterday outlawed by Pakistan after the UN Security Council declared it a terrorist group.

They also made it clear that no one detained during the ongoing crackdown on militant groups would be handed over to India. They decided that action against any suspects would be taken according to Pakistani law, the sources said.

The two leaders also "agreed that Pakistan's defence is strong and the country's armed forces are capable of thwarting any aggression on the eastern border", the sources said.

However, an official statement issued after the meeting only said the two leaders "exchanged views on the current situation in the country".

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stressed the need for India to provide "necessary evidence" regarding the Mumbai terror attacks and to "keep channels of communications open".

He made the remarks when British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called him to discuss the situation in South Asia.

Miliband described Pakistan's offer to send a high-level delegation to India to take forward the investigation into the Mumbai attacks as a "positive step which the British government will support", said a statement from the Foreign Office.

Qureshi said Pakistan was "fully in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1267", which had proscribed the JuD and listed four LeT leaders as terrorists subject to sanctions.

Pakistan is also "ready to conduct a joint investigation with India into the Mumbai incident", Qureshi said.

Miliband informed Qureshi that the EU Council of Ministers recently suggested upgrading relations with Pakistan, including a summit-level dialogue and granting the country greater access to the EU market.                                             



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