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Friday, July 21, 2006

Hand over Dawood, Hizbul chief, India tells Pakistan

NEW DELHI, JULY 21: Unimpressed by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s “offer” to help India in the investigations in the Mumbai serial blasts case, New Delhi on Friday asked Islamabad to hand over Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Responding strongly to his comments, the Centre emphasised that Pakistan must act on the promises made earlier that it would not allow its territory to be used for any terrorist activities against India.

External affairs ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna, while affirming India’s commitment to the dialogue process with Islamabad, said this could “be sustained and yield results only if Pakistan acts against terrorist groups operating from its territory and PoK in accordance with its solemn commitment of January 6, 2004.”

“If Pakistan really wants to convince the people of India that it is willing to work together with India against terrorism, then it has to take some action immediately and it can,” said Sarna .

“For example, the self-styled chief of the Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin, who is freely roaming in Pakistan and PoK and has appeared on the same stage as many ministers of the federal government of Pakistan, should be arrested and handed over to India,” he said.

He also called for a ban on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, political outfit of the Lashkar-E-Toiba, and arrest of its leaders, in Islamabad.

Sarna said if Pakistan took action to implement the “directives” of UN Security Council 1267 committee against Dawood Ibrahim, then it would give credibility to its claim that it was willing to fight terror.

India, most recently on May 31, at the home secretary-level talks in Islamabad, provided “quite substantial evidence” to Pakistan about the presence of terrorist groups and fugitives on its territory, he said.

“Nevertheless, we will continue to provide Pakistani authorities all available evidence and we will wait practical action on their part,” he said.
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