Pakistan could ask for consular access to Kasab

December 28th, 2008 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Dec 28 (IANS) Pakistan may ask for consular access to Ajmal Amir Kasab - the lone terrorist caught alive in the Mumbai terror attack - to determine if he is a Pakistani and provide him legal aid if he is found to be one, a senior official here said Sunday.The official said the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi had received a letter from Kasab asking for legal aid. “Yes, we will provide him legal aid if he’s a Pakistani and we are allowed consular access to him,” said the official.

He said Pakistan would be asking for consular access to Kasab to determine if he’s a Pakistani as “his name is not in the list of NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority)”.

NADRA issues national identity cards and prepares passports for Pakistani nationals and Pakistanis living abroad with dual nationality.

The official admitted that “information” related to Kasab has been received from India through the US but said it could not be treated as “evidence” on any Pakistani’s involvement.

“Yes, we have received information like the confession by Kasab and a record of his conversation with people in Pakistan,” said the official. But he said this information was not proof of any Pakistani’s involvement in 26/11 in which over 170 people were killed.

The official said the people named by India in connection with the terror attack were either in government custody or were not living in Pakistan. “We are ready to take action against them if strong evidence or access to the arrested people in Mumbai is provided,” said the official.

The News daily in its report Sunday said the United States and Britain have shared information with Pakistan which they believe amounts to evidence of Pakistanis being involved in the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

This evidence includes a confession by Kasab, purportedly of Faridkot in Punjab province, which was obtained by Indian officials.

“Because a confession obtained under duress is not admissible in a trial, Pakistanis argue that this statement cannot be the basis of any proceedings against Kasab or others from Pakistan,” said the report.

Several telephone intercepts and logs of telephone calls made from the mobile phones of alleged terrorists who were killed in Mumbai have also been shared with the Pakistani authorities, the report said.

The telephone numbers of several individuals arrested in Pakistan, including Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, reportedly also featured in the telephone call logs and intercepted phone calls.

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