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No official confirmation on Kasab's nationality from Pakistan

Source: PTI
January 07, 2009 20:00 IST
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Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir on Wednesday refused to confirm news reports about official investigations concluding that Kasab was a Pakistani citizen.

"I can at this point of time only say that our investigation is continuing.  We are not in a position to confirm (the media report)," he told a TV channel.

Replying to the channel's claim that Pakistan National Security Adviser Mahmud Ali Durani had conveyed to it that Kasab is a Pakistani and that he would be giving a report to the Prime Minister's Office in this regard, Bashir said he had just spoken to Durani, who told him that he had also heard some media report.

Bashir said Pakistan welcomed investigation into the issue and that the proper way to go forward would be carry it out with responsibility and not get into any controversy on this point.

Asked if he was denying that Kasab is a Pakistani, he said, "What I am saying, mark my words, we are not in a position at this point to confirm this and it should not be sensationalised."

He said India has provided information to Pakistan on the Mumbai attacks and "we are prepared to work with our friends in India to get to the bottom of it in a professional way in a crime investigation".

Bashir said they have to exercise due diligence in investigations and not rush to conclusions.

"My advise to anyone involved in the investigation is not to do it in media glare," he said.

Asked about his deposition before the Foreign Relations Committee of the National Assembly on Tuesday on India's evidence given to Pakistan, the Foreign Secretary said whatever he said then and today is basically that Pakistan was prepared to deal with the issue in all seriousness and would not like 'things to be taken globally'.

"What India shared with us is not evidence but information. We look forward to cooperation, more information sharing, then we can get to do our job," he said.

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