Pakistan owns up to Ajmal Kasab (Lead, changing dateline)

January 7th, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad/New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) A day after India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma urged Pakistan to own up the nationality of Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the Mumbai carnage as the “first step” to indicate its intention to cooperate in the probe into the incident, Islamabad did just that. “Pakistani authorities, during the course of their own investigations into the Mumbai carnage have established the identity of the only surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab as a Pakistani national,” Dawnnews reported on its website.

It also quoted a high-ranking government official as saying that because of the nature of his crime the government has still not taken any decision on whether to provide him with counsellor access.

“The top official said the investigations had started soon after the initial reports had suggested that Ajmal Kasab may possibly be a Pakistani national,” Dawnnews said.

“However, the authorities wanted to be doubly sure of his identity as there existed no record of Kasab and his family in the National Data Base which is maintained by NADRA. Details of the preliminary investigations submitted to the government have still not been made public,” it added.

The official said Kasab is the son of Amir Kasab and Mrs Noor Illahi.

The identity of others militants killed in Mumbai carnage is yet to be established but senior security officials told Dawnnews that preliminary investigations “have established that these militants were operating on their own and had absolutely no link with any section of the country’s security apparatus.

“A formal announcement in this regard is expected in the next few days,” Dawnnews said.

Speaking in New Delhi Tuesday, Sharma had said: “Let them first acknowledge that Kasab is a Pakistani. Other things can follow after that.”

He was responding to queries on Islamabad’s offer for a joint probe into the Mumbai attacks.

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