The Pakistan government should seek consular access for Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist arrested for the Mumbai attacks, following the official acknowledgement that he is a Pakistani national, a leading human rights organisation has said.
"The HRCP (Human Rights Commission of Pakistan) regrets that one of the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage is confirmed as a Pakistani, but commends the government of Pakistan for facing this unpleasant reality," Asma Jahangir, the chairperson of HRCP, said in a statement. Jahangir said she would urge the government to seek consular access to Kasab and arrange proper legal defence for him. She also intends to contact rights groups in India to ensure that Kasab gets a fair trial.
"It is the right of every individual to have consular access and to have proper legal assistance regardless of the accusation against the detained person. The HRCP will contact human rights organisations in India to ensure that Kasab has legal defence as well as a fair and transparent trial," she said.
Media reports have said that the Pakistan government will not seek consular access to Kasab because of the "heinous" crimes he had committed.
Jahangir said the officials dealing with Kasab's case have stated that their investigations are continuing and they had not reached the point where they could decide whether the government would seek consular access.
She said a DNA test is one of the easiest ways to determine whether Kasab belongs to a family in Faridkot village in Pakistan's Punjab province, as is being widely reported.