Pakistan not convinced by Kasab’s letter, wants ‘ample proof’December 23rd, 2008 - 3:27 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Dec 23 (IANS) Pakistan has taken note of the letter by lone surviving Mumbai attacker Ajmal Kasab saying he is a Pakistani but has asked India to provide “ample proof” of his identity, official sources were quoted as saying here. The “letter itself is not ample proof”, Pakistan foreign ministry sources told Dawn News television channel. “The Indian government needs to provide ample proof to establish Kasab’s identity,” the sources told the channel.
In a decisive step to furnish evidence of the complicity of Pakistan-based elements in the Mumbai attack, India’s external affairs ministry had Monday called Pakistan’s acting high commissioner Afrasiab and handed to him the letter Kasab wrote to the Pakistan government.
“In his letter addressed to the Pakistan High Commission, Kasab has stated that he and the other terrorists (who were) killed in the attack were from Pakistan and has sought a meeting with the Pakistan High Commission,” India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash told reporters in New Delhi.
While Kasab was captured, nine others were killed in gun battles with commandos.
Kasab, in the custody of Mumbai Police, has sought legal aid from Pakistan as no lawyer in India has come forward to defend him in court.
In a statement Monday night, Islamabad, however, reacted cautiously to Kasab’s letter.
“This evening the Indian government has forwarded to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi a letter from one ‘Mohammad Ajmal Mohammad Ameer Qasab’ who claims to be a Pakistani,” Pakistan’s foreign office said in a statement.
“He has sought assistance of a lawyer and a meeting with the Pakistan High Commission. The contents of the letter are being examined,” the statement added.
The Pakistani leadership has denied that Kasab is a Pakistani national and also repudiated any link with the coordinated terror strike in Mumbai which killed more than 170 people, including 22 foreigners.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik have denied that Kasab is a Pakistani national.
However, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said in an interview that Kasab comes from Faridkot village in Pakistan. Sharif even criticised the curbs the Pakistani government and the intelligence agencies put on the movement of media persons and visitors to Faridkot village, which he said was cordoned off.