Informed Pak on Kasab's hanging: Khurshid
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday said Pakistan has been informed about the execution of lone surviving terrorist in 26/11 Mumbai attack Ajmal Kasab on Wednesday.
Ending a four-year-long judicial process, Kasab was hanged in western city Pune in Maharashtra on Wednesday morning, only four days before the fourth anniversary of the audacious strike from Pakistan-based terror groups that left 166 people dead and over 300 wounded.
"The information I have is as under the law we are required and in sense of propriety we attempted to convey to Pakistan Foreign Office that this decision had been taken and the execution will be done this morning. Since those missives were not accepted by the Foreign Office, by fax we indicated the information to them," Khurshid said during his interaction with the media here.
"Therefore, our obligation to inform them adequately was fulfilled. We also had in our possession a particular address given by Kasab and we did convey to that address as well the decision that had been taken," he said.
Asked how can Kasab's body be handed over to Pakistan or his family while Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said he has already been buried, Khurshid replied: "I would imagine it will have to be considered, as I said, in the light of legal requirements and the light of any other religious dimensions that might have to be considered.
"But we have no such request and we have no such information. So, this is at present very hypothetical."
Transcript of External Affairs Minister's interaction with media:
External Affairs Minister (Shri Salman Khurshid): Good morning.
Question: Sir, Ajmal Amir Kasab jo 26/11 ke hamlaavar the, unko aaj subah faansi ka saza de di gayi hai. Kin paristhitiyon mein di gayi? Aapki kya pratikriya hai is par? Aur kya unki body ko agar unka parivar ya Pakistan sarkar claim karta hai - jise dafna diya gaya hai, aisa Chief Minister Maharashtra ne kaha hai - kya yeh hand over kiya ja sakta hai Pakistan ko?
External Affairs Minister: Dekhiye, do prashn hain. Pehli baat, jo bhi karravayi hui hai, puri karravayi shuru se ab tak, voh hamaare desh ke vidhi anusar hui hai. Jo vyavastha vidhi mein hai uske anusar hui hai. Jo bhi avsar praapt hote hain kisi bhi vyakti ko court ke saamne jaakar, ya Mahamahim Rashtrapati mahoday se nivedan karke, voh saare avsar unko praapt the. Aur uske baad, antim nirnay ke baad, jo karravaayi karma anivarya hota hai, vaisi karravaayi ki gayi hai. Is mein main samajhta hun poore vishva ke liye ek bada spasht sanket hai ki is desh mein rule of law hai aur qanoon ke tahat har ek ko hum barabar ke nazar se dekhte hain. Na kisi se dvesh ki baat hai, aur na kisi ko koi labh dene ki baat hoti hai. Jo sabke liye anivarya qanoon hai, vahi qanoon yahan lagu kiya gaya, paradarshita se lagu kiya gaya, aur har avsar dene ke baad jo karravayi avashyak samjhi gayi qanoon ke tehet, voh humne kiya.
Agar Pakistan ki ore se ya parivar ki ore se koi agrah hota hai aur unki body ke sandarbh mein vahan se koi baat aati hai, to uspar sarkar vichar karegi. Aur jaisa main ne kaha, vidhi anusar vichar hoga. Us par jo aage karravayi ki avashyakta hai voh karravayi ki jayegi. Abhi aisi koi hamaare paas jankaari nahin hai.
Question:Sir, Pakistan mein is muamle ki sunvayi ka saval hai. Kyunki unhon ne baar-baar kaha ki Kasab ka confessional statement ko unki court mein koi maan nahin rahe the, unko cross-examine karne ki baat kar rahe the. Kya is muamle ko ek technical issue ke taur par use kiya ja sakta hai jahan tak Mumbai hamlon ki dusre operators ka saval hai?
External Affairs Minister: Dekhiye jahan tak vidhi ya qanoon ka prashna uthta hai, jo qanoon vyavastha hamaare desh mein hai uska poora samman humne kiya hai, aur us qanoon vyavastha ke aadhin hi yeh saari karravayi hui hai. Hamaare desh se bahar kya qanoon vyavastha hai, aur koi kya kehta hai ya karta hai us par mera koi kehna main samajhta hun uchit na hoga aur na hi mujhe koi kehna ka adhikar hai.
Question: Sir is it true that Pakistan was sent letters informing them that Kasab has been hanged and they rejected those letters? Is that your information?
External Affairs Minister: The information I have is as under the law we are required and in sense of propriety we attempted to convey to Pakistan Foreign Office that this decision had been taken and the execution will be done this morning. Since those missives were not accepted by the Foreign Office, by fax we indicated the information to them. Therefore, our obligation to inform them adequately was fulfilled. We also had in our possession a particular address given by Kasab and we did convey to that address as well the decision that had been taken.
Question:Sir, jahan tak Kasab ke confessions ka saval hai, unhon ne details mein bataye the, Hafiz Sayeed se sambandhon ke baare mein, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakvi ke saath sambandhon ke baare mein. Is ka aap kya ummid karenge Pakistan se jab ki aap unse tamaam muddon par baat-cheet kar rahe hain ki Pakistan ko kaise apne desh mein jo mukaddame chal rahe hain voh le kar aage badhen?
External Affairs Minister: Hum to samajhte hain ki hamaara qanoon aur unka qanoon mein koi aisa itna bada antar nahin hoga ki aisi karravayi agar karne ki avashyakta hoti hai to us mein kis kis maadhyam se voh karravayi ki jaati hai. Hum ummed yeh karenge ki jis tarah se hamaare yahan nishpaksh roop se karravayi hui vaise hi vahan bhi nishpaksh roop se karravayi hogi. Lekin ab kya hota hai, kaise hoga, voh aage samay batayega.
Question: Sir, Kasab has been buried as per Prithviraj Chavan, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Now you are saying that if the Government of Pakistan or if the family makes a request for his body, that will be considered. Is that the correct understanding of you said?
External Affairs Minister: I would imagine it will have to be considered, as I said, in the light of legal requirements and the light of any other religious dimensions that might have to be considered. But we have no such request and we have no such information. So, this is at present very hypothetical.
Question: Sir, a question on Gaza. The Palestinian side has marked a protest with the Ministry of External Affairs saying that the response by the Indian side is very weak. Are you going to condemn the attack and the killing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip?
External Affairs Minister: We have stated and I must acknowledge my colleague Mr. E. Ahamed was in touch with media yesterday. And we did say very categorically that disproportionate use of force is unacceptable. This is a very sad and tragic escalation of violence that has caused loss of some innocent lives, particularly of women and children. We consider that completely unacceptable. We urge that peace must be restored immediately and whatever efforts are being made for peace being restored and de-escalation of violence takes place. Our effort is that we support categorically. And we expect and hope that that is what will happen. We also want to make it very clear that our support for the Palestinian cause remains undiluted. We would reconfirm that support. We believe that Palestine deserves an independent sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital. We are confirming that position. But at the same time I think what is important right now is that de-escalation take place, peace return, and that the disproportionate use of force that is being inflicted is something that is completely and totally unacceptable.
Question: Sir, back to Kasab. If the missives were rejected by Pakistan, how did we indicate to them about this execution?
External Affairs Minister: We did send a fax message to the Ministry. That is normally what is done when there is no other way of communication. A fax message was sent to the Foreign Ministry in Pakistan. Question: Sir, was the result of the Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Mallik is a postponement of the visit also linked with the entire process leading up to the execution of Kasab?
External Affairs Minister: I do not think that there is any link between these. As you know, we decide everything on merit. And I believe the Home Minister made an assessment, and it was agreed that while Parliament is going to be in session, there will not be ample time and indeed there were other factors were taken into account. But it was decided that there will be another, more appropriate time for a visit of this nature.
Question: Sir, about the closure of the Kasab chapter, how do you want the world to see the event and what sort of expectation do you have from Pakistan at this juncture regarding the 26/11 trials in Pakistan?
External Affairs Minister: Frankly, as I said, we have rule of law to prevail in our country and similarly we hope and expect that rule of law will prevail in Pakistan as well. I think there is not a vast difference between criminal procedures in our country and Pakistan. And if that is upheld, I would imagine that they will be able to say that they have done whatever it takes to reach closure on an extremely unpleasant and unhappy event that caused enormous, enormous distress to our country and indeed a tremendous amount of tragic loss to our people.
Question: Sir by rejecting the message, has Pakistan disowned Kasab and Jaish as they did in ...(Inaudible)...
External Affairs Minister: I am not sure what position they have taken. I think that very clearly he was established as a Pakistani citizen. What Pakistan should have done vis-a-vis a citizen who is executed in this country is really for them to take a call on. We did what we were obliged to do which was to inform them and to inform the address that we were given about the inevitable event.
Would you like to add something? If you want to add something, please do.
Minister of State for External Affairs (Shri E. Ahamed): As far as Gaza violence is concerned, we have already expressed our anxiety, our concern everything. The violence has to be stopped immediately as early as possible. We also added that disproportionate use of force by Israel which resulted in the death of innocent people including women and children is not only unacceptable, it is in a way contemptuous also. At the very same time we want the peace to prevail over there, and aspirations of Palestinian people to justice, freedom and a state of their own with demarcated boundary and also a sovereign state with East Jerusalem as the capital is to be realized. That is what we have said. The honourable senior colleague of mine has already stated the stand we have taken to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for freedom and their own state.
External Affairs Minister: Thank you very much.