New Delhi on Tuesday night asked Islamabad to hand over Sheikh Omar, leader of banned terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed and main suspect in the abduction of American journalist Daniel Pearl, saying he was wanted in India.
"We would like him to be handed over to India in good faith," Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah said.
Abdullah, however, said the timing of the militant's arrest caused suspicion, as it came a day before Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was scheduled to meet US President George W Bush.
Asked whether India could demand extradition of Sheikh, Abdullah told Star News that there was no bar on seeking deportation of the terrorist, who was released along with Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar in December 1999 in exchange for the passengers of an Indian Airlines plane which had been hijacked to Kandahar.
To another question as to what would be India's stance if the militant was handed over to the US, the minister said India would then raise the matter with Washington.
Earlier, an external affairs ministry spokesperson termed Sheikh's arrest as a confirmation of Pakistan providing safe haven to such criminals.
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