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Pak hopes India responds positively to Kasab custody request

Pakistan today contended that it wanted custody of Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist held during the Mumbai attacks, because of legal requirements and hoped that India would respond positively to its request for handing him over.

world Updated: Apr 28, 2010 15:37 IST

Pakistan on Wednesday contended that it wanted custody of Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist held during the Mumbai attacks, because of legal requirements and hoped that India would respond positively to its request for handing him over.

"That is a legal requirement... India is currently examining our request and we hope that they will get back with a positive response," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters here when asked why his country has demanded handing over of Kasab.

Kasab, a Pakistani-national, was among 10 terrorists who struck in Mumbai on November 26, 2008. While nine of the attackers were killed, Kasab was caught during the gunfight.

He is currently undergoing trial in Mumbai and the court will give verdict on May 3.

India has already indicated that it was not possible to hand him over as the legal processes against him were going on in the country.

On the possibility of meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani, Basit said there was "confusion" in India.

"As our Foreign Minister has said time has come for India to make up its mind as to what kind of engagement it wants. It seems there is some confusion," the Pakistani spokesman said.

He said, "India has to make up its mind because there are serious issues involved and this confusion will give advantage to forces which are against (normal relations) between the two countries".

He added, "this (proposed) meeting was part of our roadmap which was given to India in New York by our Foreign Minister (Shah Mahmood Qureshi) to Indian External Affairs Minister (S M Krishna) and then again by our Foreign Secretary (Salman Bashir) to Indian Foreign Secretary (Nirupama Rao) on February 25 in New Delhi.