Lashkar-e-Taiba wing asks India to hand over Advani

December 5th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 5 (IANS) In response to India’s demand for extradition of mobster Dawood Ibrabim, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, some Pakistani politicians as well as the religious wing of the banned LeT have said New Delhi should hand over certain “absconders” wanted in criminal cases, including former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani in return.The issue was raised in a meeting called by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani Tuesday to discuss the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks and Indian allegations of Pakistanis’ involvement in the carnage.

While a majority of participants of the meeting pleaded for peace with India and adopting diplomatic channels to calm down the anger, “a couple of them suggested to take tough stand instead of an apologetic attitude”, a participant of the meeting told IANS.

Meanwhile, a statement posted on website of Jamaatul Dawah, a religious wing of the LeT said: “It will be entirely in accordance with international legal standards, as well as in accordance with the wishes of the people of Pakistan to demand the extradition of L.K. Advani and other Hindu terrorists.”

The statement said that Saeed is a religious leader who has never, “at any time, advocated or supported the use of terrorism, nor is he a proponent of clandestine activities of any kind.”

Saeed has never been convicted of any crime; neither in Pakistan, nor in any other country of the world, said the statement bearing the name of Jamaat spokesman Yahya Mujahid.

This is for the second time since 2001 that the issue of Advani’s extradition is being raised in tit-for-tat response to India’s demand for handing over of Dawood, Saeed and Masood Azhar.

An interior ministry official said that according to the police record in Karachi, Advani is among 12 persons declared as “absconders” in a case registered for an attempt to assassinate Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other top Pakistani leaders in 1947.

The official said that a FIR number 4/47, registered Sept 10, 1947 by then station house officer of Jamshed Quarters police station, Inspector Tooti Ram charged 18 people, including Advani, with hatching a criminal conspiracy to assassinate the then governor-general Jinnah, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, Khawaja Nazimuddin and other top leaders.

Six Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activists were nabbed in the case, sentenced and extradited to India a year later following an agreement between the two countries.

However, when contacted, officials of the prime minister’s secretariat and foreign office declined to comment. “There are more important issues which Pakistan is taking up with India,” said the foreign office official.

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