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Pak seeks good ties but won't extradite suspects

Foreign Minister wants business as usual in the neighborhood.

News18test sharma |

Updated:January 4, 2009, 3:42 PM IST
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Pak seeks good ties but won't extradite suspects
Foreign Minister wants business as usual in the neighborhood.

Islamabad: Pakistan won’t hand over people suspected of involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attacks but would “endeavour” to improves it ties with India, said a senior Pakistani Minister on Sunday.

Pakistan extraditing terror suspects to the US and India's demand that Islamabad hand over suspects in the Mumbai terror attacks cannot be compared, said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

"We have a treaty with the US; we do not have an extradition treaty with India. Please do not compare; every situation is not identical," said Qureshi in Multan, his hometown.

India has not shared any evidence on the terror attacks and Pakistan could respond to its demands only when it receives "something officially".

Qureshi rejected claims that there was a link between the Kashmir issue and the Mumbai attacks. “Pakistan’s stand on the Kashmir issue remains the same. Mumbai is an issue that is related to terrorism," he said.

Pakistan wants good relations with India and wants the composite dialogue to be resumed. "Good relations with India will remain our policy. The Mumbai attacks caused a setback for bilateral relations," said Qureshi.

"There is a pause in the composite dialogue but we will endeavour to end this pause and move towards normal relations. We must emerge from the stress that has developed in our relations." he said.

"We want good relations with all our neighbours be it India, China or Iran. Good relations with India are in Pakistan's interests. It will ensure stability in Pakistan."

Pakistan is following a three-point diplomatic strategy after the Mumbai terror attacks. The first objective is to avoid a war with India; the second objective is to save Pakistan from international isolation and the third to save the country from internal destabilisation.

"I will not say we have achieved the objectives as yet but we are close to achieving them," said Qureshi.

Qureshi, who will meet US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher on Monday, was speaking a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked Pakistan to hand over terror suspects linked to the Mumbai attacks.

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