India's foreign minister is insisting the government has not backed
away from its demand Pakistan hand over perpetrators of the Mumbai
terror attacks for prosecution on Indian soil.
India is reiterating that Pakistan must hand over those who had a role in planning the Mumbai terror attacks.
follows reports that New Delhi was willing to allow such trials solely
to be held in Islamabad. But India's External Affairs Minister Pranab
Mukherjee says prosecutions must also take place here.
"The dastardly terror crimes have been committed in India," he said. "Therefore the perpetrators must face Indian justice."
earlier had indicated in a television interview that it would be all
right for Pakistan to try suspects, if they could not be handed over to
Speaking to reporters Friday the foreign minister
denied India has given up on its demand for extradition. "There is no
question of that - that we have given up this demand or we have climbed
down," he said.
The 60-hour siege of Mumbai, India's
commercial capital, which began on November 26 left more than 170
people dead. The attackers, who came ashore by boat, attacked luxury
hotels, hospitals, rail stations, a popular cafe and a Jewish outreach
India has in custody the lone surviving gunman, who India has tied to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group.
India wants Pakistan to extradite 40 fugitives suspected of various terrorist activities here, included the Mumbai attacks.
on Thursday announced it had detained 71 members of banned groups, shut
down five training camps believed connected to Lashkar and had 124
people under surveillance. But Islamabad insists the dossier presented
by India linking Pakistani nationals to the Mumbai assault does not
include any clear evidence to that effect.
The standoff has
chilled relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbors and raised
speculation there could be another armed confrontation between India
and Pakistan. Since gaining independence in 1947 following the end of
the British raj, majority Hindu India and predominately Muslim Pakistan
have fought each other three times.
Despite generals on both
sides of the border expressing resolve to defend their countries at any
cost, politicians and analysts here and in Pakistan have stressed there
is little likelihood of war.