Zardari rules out handing over "non-state" 26/11 perpetrators to India

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Beijing, July 11 (ANI): While Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has ruled out handing over the accused November 2008 Mumbai terror attack "non state actors" to India, he remains only "hopeful" of bringing the perpetrators, who wrecked the relationship between both countries, to justice.

In an interview to a television channel on the last day of his five-day visit to China, Zardari said that the 26/11 perpetrators could not be handed over to India as there was no extradition treaty between the two neighbours.

"I do not think it works like that between the two nations. There has to be bilateral treaties of that sort, which do not exist between us. But we are trying those people in Pakistan. Hopefully we will bring the offenders to justice," The Daily Times quoted Zardari, as saying.

Zardari's statement comes days ahead of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Krishna is scheduled to hold talks with Qureshi in Islamabad on July 15.

Referring to the upcoming talks and the recent foreign secretary level deliberations, Zardari said that though "non-state actors" had succeeded in hampering the relationship between both countries, India's "mature democracy" would show "foresight" in taking forward the resumed talks.

"The non-state actors managed to stall it for some time. Now, I think it is back on track and hopefully will go forward," he said.

Commenting on India's relationship with the US, Zardari said Islamabad did not objectto the Indo-US civil nuclear deal and expects the same from New Delhi over Beijing's proposal to build two new nuclear reactors in Pakistan.

"We complement those ties. When India was going with civil nuclear deal with the US, we did not oppose it, so we did not mind that our friends have influence on other friends and we expect the same from others," he said. (ANI)

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