India insists Pak refused to accept advance message

In its first reaction to the hanging of Ajmal Kasab — the lone gunman nabbed alive after the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008 — Pakistan contested claims by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid that Islamabad had refused to accept the government of India’s advance communication on the execution.

In a statement released to the Associated Press of Pakistan on Wednesday, Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said the Indian Deputy High Commissioner handed over the note on the execution to the Director General South (DGSA) Asia on Tuesday evening in person. “The DGSA received that note and acknowledged the receipt.”

Earlier, media reports from India quoted Mr. Shinde as stating: “The External Affairs Ministry through our mission in Islamabad had informed the Pakistan government about Kasab’s hanging. When they did not accept the letter, they were communicated through fax.”

According to Mr. Khan, these reports were incorrect and baseless. He added Pakistan’s position on terrorism was very clear and consistent, and it always condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. “We are willing to cooperate and work closely with all countries of the region to eliminate the scourge of terrorism.”

But government sources in New Delhi insisted that the Indian Deputy High Commissioner had met his counterpart in the Pakistan Foreign Office on Tuesday, a day before the execution, to hand over the communication from the Maharashtra government to Kasab’s family informing it of the completion of the legal process and the date of his hanging. But the official refused to accept the communication, following which it was faxed from the Indian High Commission to the official and a transmission report received.

As of now, the Indian High Commission has not received any “acknowledgement” from Pakistan's Foreign Ministry to that fax, said the sources.

“Therefore, our obligation to inform them adequately was fulfilled. We also had in our possession a particular address given by Kasab and we did convey to that address as well the decision that had been taken,’’ said Mr. Khurshid.

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 12:08:46 PM |

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