US asks Pak to handover Lakhvi to India

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Washington, Dec 30 (ANI): Pakistan has been pressurized by the United States to extradite Zaki Al Rahman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks, to India.

The US reportedly handed over a tape to Pakistan that contained Lakhvi's conversation with the gunmen involved in the Mumbai terror attacks, the Dawn reported.

Sources of the paper revealed that American experts had examined and confirmed that the tape was genuine and one of the speakers was Lakhvi. The tape features Lakhvi in a cellphone conversation with the gunmen holed up inside Mumbai's Taj hotel during the 60-hour siege.

However, it is not yet clear whether Americans recorded the conversation on their own or obtained the tape from India.

Just a few days after the attacks, Indian officials had suspected that Lakhvi and Yusuf Muzammil, leaders of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, had masterminded the Mumbai operation.

Following this claim, Pakistan reportedly arrested Lakhvi and some of his top lieutenants but ruled out their extradition to India.

But, India demanded Lakhvi's extradition to India along with at least two other suspects linked to the attacks on Indian soil.

Earlier, the US had not taken a clear stand on this issue, but after listening to Lakhvi's reported conversation with the gunmen, America has also urged Pakistan to hand over Lakhvi to New Delhi.

Lakhvi comes from the same area as Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist arrested by the Indian authorities as one of the 10 terrorists who killed more than 170 people in Mumbai last month.

Islamabad, however, appears reluctant to accept Lakhvi's conversation as authentic evidence.

While Islamabad was reluctant to accept the evidence, the Pakistani embassy to the US, however, insisted that the tape was authentic and the Pakistani authorities need to take steps to satisfy the international community. (ANI)

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