India informed Pakistan on Tuesday that President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected the mercy petition of the surviving 26/11 gunman Ajmal Kasab and a death warrant had been issued in the name of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist.
The Indian High Commission in Pakistan also requested the Pakistan foreign ministry to convey the same information to Kasab's family or allow it to contact them.
Top government sources said that all due procedures of law were followed in hanging Ajmal Kasab but the entire operation was done in secrecy as the Manmohan Singh government could have come under unwarranted pressure from the international community and the media.
"We were fearing pressure from the European Union as it was opposed to death sentences, Pakistan government and media exposure of Kasab's family," said a senior official.
Although there are some 308 prisoners on the death row in India, none of their mercy petitions have been rejected by the President including December 13, 2001 accused Afzal Guru. There have been no mercy petition rejections during the tenure of President Pratibha Patil.
"Mercy petition of Afzal Guru, which has already been rejected by the Home Ministry, will also be considered by the President," said a senior official.
Sources said that while Pakistan was not informed about the date of hanging as that is the prerogative of the State, the rule book was followed with the next of kin being informed.