A day after External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee called on Pakistan to use direct diplomatic contacts rather than the media to convey information related to the Mumbai investigations, Islamabad obliged on Friday.
<b1>Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir informed Indian High Commissioner Satyabrata Pal in Islamabad about the “sequence and series of actions” initiated by Pakistan “in pursuance of its international obligations as well as those relating to the Mumbai attacks”.
Bashir informed Pal that an official inquiry had already been launched, a statement issued by the Pakistani foreign ministry pointed out.
"The foreign secretary said it was important for Pakistan and India to chart the way forward on anti-terrorism cooperation, as well as the imperative need for an across the board constructive bilateral engagement,” the statement added.
Mukherjee, meanwhile, denied that his comments in an interview to a TV channel constituted a dilution of India’s position in seeking the extradition of terror suspects from Pakistan. In a fresh statement, Mukherjee claimed that New Delhi had never given up the demand that terror suspects be extradited to India.
“It would be ideal if they (Pakistan) can hand over the fugitives from India to us. If that is not possible, there should at least be a fair trial of these fugitives in Pakistan,” Mukherjee had said in the interview.
On Friday, the minister underlined that Pakistan was “obliged to investigate and prosecute” those responsible for terrorist acts against India. “Pakistan’s Extradition Act of 1972 specifically provides for extradition even when there is no bilateral extradition treaty between the countries,” he added.