Talks with Pakistan are not ruled out: Krishna

Posted By: Staff
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Onboard special aircraft: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Monday said a bilateral meeting between India and Pakistan cannot be ruled out during the XVIth SAARC Summit to be held in Thimphu, Bhutan.

"I am not ruling it out," Krishna said when asked if the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, would meet with his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Krishna also said that Islamabad's request for handing over 26/11 gunman Ajmal Kasab could not be entertained till the trial is completed.

The verdict against Kasab by a special court in Mumbai is expected on May 3.

Pointing out that Kasab's trial was at an advanced stage in India, Krishna said it was going on in full steam.

"We have to complete our legal formalities first and then we can examine Pakistan's request for the same," he said, adding,"the matter will be examined in consultation with other ministries and departments."

Pakistan has asked that three Indian officials, including two magistrates and an investigator, to be allowed to travel to Pakistan to testify that they had recorded Kasab's statement so that authorities could proceed further and make the case stronger.

on Sunday, Pakistan handed over six dossiers to India regarding developments made in the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks probe and sought the extradition of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving gunman, and Fahim Ansari, an Indian accused of conducting recce of places targeted by terrorists.

The dossiers were handed over to India's Deputy Indian High Commissioner, Rahul Kulshreshth, by the Foreign Office (FO) officials here.

The dossiers comprise answers to questions raised by New Delhi in connection with the ghastly attacks. Pakistan has also sought more information regarding the incident from India through the dossiers, The News reports

While India has been pressing Pakistan to prosecute the Lashkar-e-Taiba's (LeT) founder leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who is considered as the mastermind of the 26/11 carnage, Islamabad says New Delhi has not provided enough evidence against the Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) chief.

Earlier, while talking to media persons following his meeting with Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said: "India has only provided leads against him (Saeed) and not sufficient evidences."

He said Pakistan has taken stern action against Saeed and his organisation, the JuD, and sealed its offices and bank accounts.

JuD's website and various publications have also been banned, he added.

Malik said authorities are keeping a close vigil on the JuD, the front face of the banned terror outfit the LeT, but added that action can not be taken unless there is evidence about its involvement in questionable activities.

He also said that India should to give Pakistan access to Kasab to facilitate the trial of seven terrorists arrested in the country in connection with the Mumbai attacks.

" Kasab's statement is of paramount importance in the Mumbai attack case... it is an important document for the court and we need it," Malik said.

According to sources privy to the meeting between Malik and Sabharwal, the Interior Minister stressed that Kasab should be extradited to Pakistan after his trial in India is over, as his statement would prove to be of great importance in the prosecution of the seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Taiba's (LeT) operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. By Ravi Shankar (ANI)

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