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Treaty required for extradition of Mumbai attack suspects: Pakistan

[JURIST] Pakistan on Friday said a bilateral extradition treaty would be required if it were to transfer Mumbai terror attack [BBC backgrounder] suspects to India. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi [official profile] said in a television interview that no such treaty exists [PTI report] and that it will not transfer the suspects without one. India has claimed that such an agreement is not necessary [press release] because international conventions and Pakistan's membership in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) [official website] provide a basis for handing over the suspects. Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) [ADL backgrounder], the Pakistani group blamed for the attacks, denied [AFP report] that a senior member had confessed to the Pakistani government [Wall Street Journal report] about the group's involvement.

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 December, Pakistani officials said they would not hand over [JURIST report] to India any Pakistani citizens arrested in connection with the attacks, insisting instead on a joint investigation with Indian officials. Early in December, Pakistani police raided a militant camp [JURIST report] and arrested Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, the head of LeT, along with several other individuals believed to be responsible for the attacks. Days after the attacks, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh convened a meeting [JURIST report] of all political parties in order to gather national support for a plan to strengthen security in the country.

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