Pak says ready to extradite Dawood, Lashkar and Jaish chiefs

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New Delhi, May 10 (UNI) For the first time ever, Pakistan has expressed willingness to extradite underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed to India, if New Delhi had authentic proof of their involvement in terror acts on its soil.

''Yes, I have an open mind...the onus is on the Indian side,'' Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told Karan Thapar on ''Devil's Advocate'' programme telecast on CNN-IBN.

Asked about slain Pakistan People's Party chairperson Benazir Bhutto's stand that her party would consider India's request for access to terrorist leaders such as Azhar and Saeed, and also Dawood Ibrahim, Mr Gilani said: ''If there is authentic proof and if they (India) want to share it with us, of course we can think on those lines.'' He also rejected Indian concerns about terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir being financed and executed by terror groups such as the Lashkar with the backing of Pakistan's ISI.

''We are already working with the whole world to eradicate extremism and terrorism and our point of view is extremely clear - that we are against terrorism and extremism.

''We have lost our own leader (former Prime Minister) Benazir Bhutto because of (terrorism). How can I deny that? But at the same time, we are fighting against terrorism.'' When pointed out that several outlawed terrorist groups such as the Lashkar, Jaish and Al-Badr had re-emerged in Pakistan in recent months after changing their names, Mr Gilani said his government would strictly act against such outfits.

''We are against terrorism and we are against them. We will not be supporting any terrorist,'' he added.

Asked about India's belief that terrorism by groups such as the Lashkar was the biggest irritant in bilateral ties, the Pakistan Prime Minister said the matter was linked to the ''core issue'' of Kashmir.

Describing Indian concerns about the presence of terrorist training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as unfounded, Mr Gilani said: ''I visited Kashmir (PoK) and at the same time, the whole world is there for the reconstruction of Kashmir (POK) after the 2005 earthquake. There are no such camps.'' Replying to a question about the perception that the Pakistan government could compensate for unpopular military action against the Taliban in its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan by reducing pressure on militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir, he said: ''Actually, we are very clear. We are fighting the war on terrorism not for America.'' ''That is, we are fighting the war for our own country because as I have mentioned, we lost our own leader because of terrorism.

And I am very firm on terrorism and we will not negotiate with militants unless they give up arms,'' Mr Gilani added.


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