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"Islamabad not responding positively on extradition treaty"

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, DEC. 16. The Government said today in the Rajya Sabha that despite several requests Pakistan had not responded positively to the suggestion for an extradition treaty with India to bring back fugitives from the law, including underworld don Dawood Ibrahim wanted for his alleged involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

Answering supplementaries during question hour, the Minister of State for External Affairs, E. Ahamed, said India had made several requests after the Mumbai blasts, the hijack of an Indian Airlines plane to Kandahar, and the attack on Parliament but Pakistan had not responded positively. To a question from the Samajwadi Party's Amar Singh, the Minister said that in December 2001 India had given Pakistan a consolidated list of 20 fugitives residing in that country. Of these 15 had Interpol red corner alert notices on them. Asked specifically by Sanjay Nirupam (Shiv Sena) about the extradition of Dawood Ibrahim, said to have taken shelter in Pakistan, Mr. Ahamed said Pakistan had maintained that he was not in that country. But there was evidence to suggest that he lived in Karachi, the Minister said.

India would take up the issue of the return of the 25 fugitives (since December 2001) at the coming meeting of the two Foreign Secretaries. The issue had been taken up as part of the composite dialogue between the two countries though not during the recent meeting between the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf. "The matter has been raised at [the] Foreign Secretaries level. It has not been discussed in detail," he said. On Pakistan's response, he said Islamabad had ruled out turning over any Pakistan national to India.

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