26/11 perpetrators must face Indian justice: Pranab

January 16th, 2009 - 5:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) A day after India indicated it was ready to accept a “fair trial” of fugitives in Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Friday said there was no question of “our dilution of demand for extradition” of the suspects wanted for the Mumbai attack and other terrorist activities. “Perpetrators must face Indian justice,” Mukherjee told reporters when asked whether there was a shift in India’s demand asking Pakistan to extradite the masterminds of the Mumbai carnage.

“The SAARC convention on terrorism has the same intent. And such provisions are there in international instruments,” he said. “There is no question of the dilution of our demand for extradition.”

The minister’s hardening of stance came a day after his remarks to a TV channel were seen as a shift in New Delhi’s stance by the media.

“It would be ideal if they can hand over the fugitives from India to us. If that is not possible, there should at least be a fair trial of these fugitives in Pakistan,” Mukherjee told Aaj Tak news channel Thursday. “It should not be a mock trial. It should be transparent and demonstrated.”

India and Pakistan have not signed an extradition treaty but New Delhi has maintained that the lack of such a treaty can’t be an excuse as there are many international instruments under which criminals can be extradited.

India has asked Pakistan to hand over 40 fugitives wanted in various terrorist activities in India, including the November Mumbai attacks which killed over 170 people.

Pakistan Thursday said it had detained 71 members of banned militant groups, put under surveillance 124 others and shut down five training camps of the Jamaat ud-Dawa, widely believed to be a front of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. But Islamabad insists that New Delhi’s 26/11 dossier linking Pakistani nationals to the Mumbai attack was information and not evidence.

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