A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the dialogue with Islamabad will depend on its action against terror, India on Thursday said it has been asking Pakistan to hand over 42 fugitives, including mafia don Dawood Ibrahim, but Islamabad had refused to cooperate, citing the lack of an extradition treaty.
During question hour in the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said that Pakistan has not “responded positively” to India's repeated requests for an extradition treaty and cited the lack of such a treaty for handing over Pakistani nationals wanted by India.
Krishna said a list of 42 fugitives, both Indian and Pakistani nationals, including those involved in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts and the 26/11 terror carnage in Mumbai, has been given to Islamabad.
Indicating Islamabad's reluctance to act, Krishna said whenever evidence or a dossier is given, Pakistan has said that it was not enough and cannot be proven in a court of law.
The minister said Pakistan has denied the presence of criminals like Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, Chota Shakeel and Lakhbir Singh who are among the Indian nationals wanted by New Delhi for their alleged complicity in various terror attacks in India.
"For Pakistani nationals, Pakistan has pointed to lack of extradition treaty and lack of evidence," he said. "We have made 11 futile attempts with Pakistan to conclude an extradition treaty," he added.
Pakistan has not responded "positively to our proposals to conclude an extradition treaty", he said.
"We have been impressing upon Pakistan that it is in the interest of both countries that we enter into a treaty of extradition," Krishna said. "Government is endeavouring to persuade Pakistan to develop a cooperative relationship with India."
Echoing Manmohan Singh's message to parliament during his intervention in parliament Wednesday where he said there is no alternative to engagement with a neighbour, Krishna stressed that India will continue to improve relations with Pakistan despite Islamabad's reluctance.
"In spite of Pakistan's reluctance to help us to improve our relations, India's endeavour will be to continue to impress upon Pakistan that we have to have good neighbourly relations," he said.
"Our hope is that Pakistan will see sense in such kind of approach," he added.