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Pakistan not handing over nationals arrested for Mumbai killings: officials

[JURIST] Pakistani officials said Tuesday that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi [official profile] will not hand over to India any Pakistani citizens arrested in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks [BBC backgrounder], insisting instead on a joint investigation with Indian officials. Several offices of the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [ADL backgrounder] have been raided as Pakistan intensifies its efforts [AP report] to apprehend terror suspects. On Sunday night, head of LeT Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi [START profile] and others believed to be responsible for the attacks last month were arrested [JURIST report] in Pakistan. India has also provided Pakistani authorities with a list of other suspects whom they want extradited to India. In an opinion piece [text] published Tuesday in the New York Times, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari [official profile] wrote:

Pakistan is committed to the pursuit, arrest, trial and punishment of anyone involved in these heinous attacks. But we caution against hasty judgments and inflammatory statements. As was demonstrated in Sunday’s raids, which resulted in the arrest of militants, Pakistan will take action against the non-state actors found within our territory, treating them as criminals, terrorists and murderers. Not only are the terrorists not linked to the government of Pakistan in any way, we are their targets and we continue to be their victims.
While the recent raids have been acknowledged by India as a sign of Pakistan's commitment to cooperate, Indian officials have not yet responded to Qureshi's proposition for a joint investigation.

The attacks in Mumbai which claimed at least 170 lives, were carried out at ten locations across the city including the landmark Taj Mahal Palace hotel [hotel website]. In a statement [press release] to the nation a day after the attacks started, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [official website] said the country "will take the strongest possible measures to ensure that there is no repetition of such terrorist acts... [and will] take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the safety and security of our citizens." In the wake of the attacks, Singh pushed for tougher anti-terrorism measures [JURIST report]. The attack was the worst the city has seen since a group of bombings killed more than 250 people in 1993.

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