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'No Pak national will be handed over'

world Updated: Jan 11, 2009 22:10 IST

Pakistan is conducting its own probe into the evidence received from India on Mumbai attacks but no Pakistani national found to be involved in the incident will be handed over to any other country, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Sunday.

"We are conducting our own investigation and once we have completed it, we will bring the findings before the people," Gilani said, adding that the evidence provided by India was being examined by investigators.

"We have our own laws and we will take action according to them. We want to assure everyone that we will not allow our soil to be used for terrorism," the premier told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Sukkur district in southern Sindh province.

Gilani made it clear that any Pakistani national found to be involved in the Mumbai attacks will not be handed over to any other country. Pakistan is taking action against terrorists and terror groups and this will continue, he added. He also said Indian politicians should "mend their ways" as their statements were stoking tensions. Earlier, in his address at the inauguration of Sangi Cadet College in Sukkur, Gilani said Pakistan does not want tensions in the region.

The armed forces, government and people are united to face any eventuality and to defend the country, he said. "No one can dare cast an evil eye at the country," Gilani said. "I want to assure you that this government will complete its five-year term and solve the problems of the country," he said amid reports of differences between him and President Asif Ali Zardari.

Pakistani authorities meanwhile extended by two months the detention of Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and seven other activists of the front organisation of Lashkar-e-Toiba, blamed for the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

A spokesman for the Punjab government told reporters that the province's home department had on Saturday extended the detention of Saeed and the seven other JuD leaders by 60 days. Saeed and other Jamaat leaders were placed under house arrest for a month on December 11 last year after the UN Security Council listed the group as a front for LeT.

Saeed's home in Johar Town area of Lahore was declared a "sub-jail". The Jamaat leaders have been detained under the Maintenance of Public Order ordinance, which allows a person to be held for up to 90 days. Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar told reporters last month that Saeed and other militant leaders detained by Pakistani authorities could not be tried in the absence of evidence against them.

The Punjab government spokesman also said 10 schools and 18 dispensaries run by the Jamaat in the province had been taken over by authorities. Seven Jamaat publications had been banned and all copies had been confiscated, he said. Among the other Jamaat leaders whose detention was extended are Col (retired) Nazir Ahmed, Amir Hamza, Yasin Baloch, Mufti Abdur Rahman and Qazi Niaz.

Though Pakistani authorities have detained Jamaat leaders, sealed the group's offices across the country and frozen its bank accounts, local media reports have described the measures as "half-hearted".

The reports have said Saeed, also the leader of the LeT, had been allowed to leave his home and that the Jamaat's sprawling headquarters at Muridke near Lahore was still fully operational.