The United States has handed over to Pakistan a fresh list of 21 most wanted persons and sought their immediate extradition to face trial for commmitting crimes against America and its citizens.
The US move comes close on the heels of India seeking deportation of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Hizbul Mujahideen leader Sayed Salahuddin and arrest of Jamat-ud-Dawa leaders, including its chief Hafiz Mohd Sayeed in the wake of the Mumbai train blasts.
Jamat-ud-Dawa is known to be the front organisation of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.
Washington has forwarded the list of 21 wanted terrorists, out of which 14 were wanted for smuggling of drugs and narcotics, Daily Times reported on Wednesday, quoting Pakistani officials.
It said the US has also offered to help Islamabad 'sensitise' Pakistani judges by arranging seminars in Pakistan to facilitate early extradition of these wanted men as delayed judicial proceedings have resulted in delayed justice.
Pakistan's Interior Ministry has received the names from Washington but kept them secret to avoid any adverse fallout in the country, it said.
The list was given to members of a Pakistan delegation, led by Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao, that visited Washington recently to attend a joint working group meeting on terrorism and narcotics.
During the talks, the US side, headed by the Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz, raised the issue of extradition of these 'most wanted men'.
Washington, at the same time, expressed its gratitude for the personal attention given by senior Pakistani officials in previous extradition cases and thanked Pakistan for its cooperation, the report said.
Last week Pakistan had rejected India's demand for deportation.
Islamabad had said it will cooperate with investigations into the Mumbai blasts if any proof was given to it about the involvement of militant groups based in Pakistan.
Pakistan maintained that the Indian list included persons who were not in its territory and those involved with Kashmir 'freedom struggle'.