The United States' commitment to fight terrorism globally is being tested, as also India's strategic partnership with America, on the issue of David Coleman Headley's extradition to India and his custodial interrogation by Indian agencies, the Bharatiya Janata Party said on Thursday.
Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad's charge against the U.S. was that the case of Headley, who pleaded guilty of being part of the 26/11 terror plot, gave the impression that America was “soft” on terror when India was the target.
Referring to some reports that Headley might have been a double agent, Mr. Prasad said that possibly vested interests in the U.S. establishment did not want his role to be fully exposed. However, for India and the world, it was crucial that the role of Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives in Pakistan and the involvement of the Inter Services Intelligence and Pakistan's Army in the Mumbai attack plot was exposed.
Headley's was a “copybook case for extradition,” Mr. Prasad said. The extradition agreement between the U.S. and India apart, two United Nations resolutions (1373 and 1267) obligated every country to support others in the investigation and trial of terror suspects.
The BJP demanded that the government take immediate steps to secure Headley's extradition and ensure that he faced trial in India for the death of 166 innocent victims of the 26/11 attacks. It would be in the interest of the global fight against terrorism to expose the Lahore and Karachi angle of the conspiracy.