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Pakistani papers downplay Kasab confession

world Updated: Jul 21, 2009 12:52 IST

IANS
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Leading English dailies in Pakistan on Tuesday front-paged the news but otherwise downplayed the confession of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the Mumbai terror attacks, owning up to his role with the only comment being a statement from defence minister dismissing the admission.

There were no editorials but this was not surprising as Pakistani newspapers normally take 48 hours to comment on important developments.

Other stories on the websites of the main papers - for instance, the opening up of India-US defence ties - took precedence with just two publications, The Nation and Daily Times, taking note of Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar's comment to an Indian TV news channel on Kasab's confession.

The Nation, in fact, reported this extensively, with Daily Times dismissing it in one paragraph.

"The statements (Kasasb's confession) are one-sided and they were made by a person who is under the custody of Indian jail authorities. If he has stood up and given this statement I don't know under what pressure he was," the minister was quoted as saying.

The main story in The Nation was "India, US open up defence ties". This was followed by stories on the prime minister asking the European Union for market access, the chief justice terming Pakistan's judiciary irresponsible and four other reports before taking note of Kasab's confession.

The Kasab admission was the third story in The News after "CJ holds judiciary guilty" and "100 militants killed in Maidan".

"Pakistan calls for EU arms, troop training" was the main story in Dawn website followed by 15 others before taking note of Kasab's confession.

Daily Times' main story was on the chief justice hauling up the judiciary, followed by three others before the one on Kasab. The defence minister's comment was right below this.

Kasab, in his dramatic confession in a Mumbai court where he is being tried for his role in the 26/11 mayhem, named Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi as the mastermind of the carnage, and described in detail how he and his nine associates travelled by sea from Karachi to Mumbai.