‘Pakistan in bind on Kasab letter’

January 5th, 2009 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Jan 5 (IANS) The Pakistani government is in a bind on dealing with an appeal for help from Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone gunman captured during the Mumbai terror strikes, a noted commentator said Monday.India had Dec 23 forwarded Kasab’s letter seeking legal help and his confessional statement to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi and the Pakistani foreign office had the same day confirmed receiving the letter.

“Ten days later, however, the interior ministry and the foreign office circles say they are still examining the letter besides trying to ascertain if Kasab was actually a Pakistani national,” Amir Mir wrote in The News in an article headlined “Pakistan fails to act on Ajmal Kasab’s letter”.

A covering letter says that since Kasab had already confessed to his crime, Pakistan should inform the Indian High Commission in Islamabad early whether or not it wants to provide legal assistance to Kasab.

Pakistan says National Data Registration Authority (NADRA) records do not verify Kasab’s claim of being a Pakistani national.

Britain’s Observer newspaper and Pakistan’s Dawn TV channel have established that Kasab is a native of Faridkot town in Punjab province and have even spoken to his father, who has owned up to his son.

Mir’s article appeared on the day India handed over to Pakistan the evidence linking Pakistan-based militants to the Mumbai carnage and ramped up international pressure on Islamabad to eliminate terror infrastructure.

“We have today given evidence to Pakistan of links between elements in Pakistan and the terrorists who attacked Mumbai,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters in New Delhi Monday morning.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon handed over to Pakistan’s High Commissioner Shahid Malik the material linking the Nov 26-29 Mumbai attack to elements in Pakistan.

The evidence includes material from Kasab’s interrogation and details of the terrorists’ communication links with elements in Pakistan during the Mumbai attack.

The evidence shared also included recovered weapons and equipment and other articles and data retrieved from recovered GPS and satellite phones of the Mumbai attackers.

Mir also quoted extensively from Kasab’s confessional statement, adding that the Pakistani foreign ministry did not take it “seriously” on the ground that the confessions of a prisoner “cannot be treated as ample proof”.

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