Pakistan's foreign minister says Islamabad will not send any of the 16 suspects arrested in connection with the Mumbai attacks to India to face charges but will try them under Pakistani law.
AFP - Pakistan will not hand over to India any suspects they have arrested in connection with the Mumbai attacks, but will try them under its own laws, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday.
"The arrests are being made for our own investigations. Even if allegations are proved against any suspect, he will not be handed over to India," said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
"We will proceed against those arrested under Pakistani laws."
Pakistan has arrested Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, named by Indian media as a key suspect in the deadly raid on Mumbai.
A further 15 unidentified suspected militants were also arrested in an operation launched at the weekend under intense international pressure to act.
Most of those arrested late Sunday were detained at a camp run by a charity closely linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) -- the group at the centre of investigations into the Mumbai siege, an intelligence official said.
Initial reports indicated that Lakhvi was arrested in the raid on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa camp. However, a senior security official later said his arrest had taken place a day earlier.
India says all 10 gunmen who attacked Mumbai came from Pakistan and has handed Islamabad a list of 20 terror suspects, with demands for their arrest and extradition.
Pakistan, which does not have an extradition treaty with India, has proposed setting up a joint commission with its neighbour to investigate the Mumbai siege, which left 172 people dead, including nine gunmen.
The attacks have seriously damaged relations between the two nuclear-armed South Asian countries, which have fought three wars since independence from Britain.
Speaking after prayers to mark the Muslim festival of Eid in his home town of Multan in central Pakistan, Qureshi said the country did not want war but was prepared to defend itself if necessary.
"We do not want to impose war, but we are fully prepared in case war is imposed on us. We are not oblivious to our responsibilities to defend our homeland. But it is our desire that there should be no war," he said.
Date created : 2008-12-09