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May 04, 2010 at 10:29pm IST

No Pak action likely against 26/11 mastermind

New Delhi: A day after the verdict, India is stepping up the pressure on Pakistan for the extradition of the now convicted masterminds in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case - Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

On Monday, both Saeed and Lakhvi were convicted by the special court along with the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab. It is learnt that a copy of the Kasab judgment will be sent to Pakistan as well.

However, Islamabad doesn't seem impressed.

No Pak action likely against 26/11 masterminds

In Pakistan the reactions to the verdict and the acquittal of the two Indians in the 26/11 conspiracy have been mix

In Pakistan the reactions to the verdict and the acquittal of the two Indians in the 26/11 conspiracy have been mixed. The country's Interior Minister Rehman Malik even went to the extent of hinting at providing legal assistance to Kasab if he asked for it.

"We will respect the verdict of the Indian court and whatever they will say will come on record," says Rehman Malik, Interior Minister, Pakistan

Historically, Pakistan has never acted on India's demands. India's most wanted Dawood Ibrahim lives in Karachi and despite overriding evidence; Islamabad denies his existence inside Pakistan. Pakistan has also never acknowledged a list of terror camps operating inside their country and even denies that top Al Qaeda terrorists including Osama Bin laden is hiding in the tribal areas of the country.

After the operatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba was found guilty by the court on Monday, the lawyer of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six others Lashkar terrorists who are now being tried in a Pakistani court for involvement in the Mumbai attacks claims that the Kasab verdict has little to do with the case against his clients.

"Whatever is stated in the judgment is not going to affect my client here in Pakistan because Pakistani courts are not bound by any finding of the Indian court," says Khwaja Sultan, lawyer, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Lashkar's front organisation, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), has slamed the the Mumbai court verdict...even accusing India of falsely implicating Lashkar Chief Hafiz Saeed

"As far as the acquittal of Fahim Ansari and Mr. Sabahuddin is concerned this has also given rise to many questions. But one thing is obvious, and that is that the Indian government will not be able to carry on with the blame game for long," says Yahya Mujahid, Spokesperson, JuD.

Even the Pakistani media was circumspect, warning that the verdict, followed by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's warning that Pakistan should stop backing terror groups, would setback the gains from the recent meeting between Prime Ministers of the two countries in Thimphu.

Can't force Pakistan courts to act

While speaking to CNN-IBN on India at 9 Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtaar, Defence Minister, Pakistan says that non-state actors were trying to destabilise the two country's relationship.

"The [Pakistan] Prime Minister has discussed two ago that we would like to sort these problems out and if some terrorist is trying to destabilise our two country's relationship, we have to come very hard on them,” says Mukhtaar.

"We have to ensure that such incidents do not occur again. But some actors who have played this on their own, they have tried to destroy the relationship that we built with each other and we will keep on trying to build this relationship because building this relationship will be a victory for both the sides."

On being asked whether the trial and the subsequent conviction would have an impact on the ongoing trial in Pakistan, Mukhtaar said that the matter was subjudice and that the government could not force the courts to expedite the whole thing.

"They [courts in Pakistan] would go the way they want to go. The government will not interfere in the legal matters. But we would like to see that anyone who likes to damage the relations between India and Pakistan, strict action should be taken. They should be taken to task."

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