Stubborn Pak refuses to take Kasab's body

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Nov 22, 2012 01:39 IST

Sticking to its story that Ajmal Kasab was a non-state actor, Pakistan refused to accept his body from the Indian government after his execution on Wednesday. Apparently, there were domestic reasons for the decision as well.

The Pakistan foreign office denied the Indian assertion that the Pakistani foreign office had refused to accept a missive on Kasab's execution, following which it was faxed across. "…as under the law, we attempted to convey to the Pakistan foreign office that the decision had been taken, and the execution was to be done this morning. Since those missives were not accepted by the foreign office, we faxed the information to them," external affairs minister Salman Khurshid said.

Indian officials said deputy high commissioner Gopal Bagley met Zehra Akbari, the director general (DG) at the Pakistan foreign office in Islamabad, on November 20. He intended to hand over a copy of the letter from jail authorities in Maharashtra, addressed to Kasab's mother, along with a note from the high commission. The letter had mentioned the "completion of legal process", following which Kasab would be hanged on November 21.

After the DG refused to accept the communication, it was faxed to the official, and a "transmission report" of the fax was received. "But it's a transmission report, not an acknowledgement," an official source said.

However, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Moazzam Khan termed the reports as "baseless and incorrect". Following that, the Indian deputy high commissioner to Pakistan visited the foreign office last evening with a note regarding Kasab's execution, and the director general for South Asia in Pakistan's foreign ministry "received and acknowledged" it.

However, Pakistan decided to play safe on Kasab, insisting throughout that he was a non-state actor. It never sought consular access to him, and India had to provide him a lawyer.

Today, India hopes for the best in the terror case. "We have a rule of law that prevails in our country and, similarly, we hope that the rule of law will prevail in Pakistan as well. I would imagine they will be able to say that they have done whatever it takes to reach a closure," Khurshid said.


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