Islamabad: Pakistan said Wednesday it would not hand over to India its citizens suspected of causing the 26/11 mayhem but would try them under its own laws.
"No Pakistani would be handed over to any other country including India," Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Ahmed Khan said during the debate in the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, on the budget for fiscal 2009-10, Online news agency reported.
The enquiry into the carnage would be held in accordance with Pakistani laws in the light of the proof provided by India, he said, adding that this country's soil would not be permitted to be used for launching terrorist attacks.
"Pakistan wants cordial relations with its neighbouring countries to be based on equality. The government is trying to highlight the image of the country as a moderate Islamic state among the comity of nations," Khan maintained.
The remarks come a day after a special court in Mumbai ordered non-bailable arrest warrants against 22 people who are believed to be in Pakistan and are wanted for suspected involvement the Nov 26-29, 2008 carnage that claimed over 170 lives.
26/11: Mumbai court issues warrants against 22 Pak nationals
The suspects include Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Sayeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) head of operations Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi.
Special Judge M L Tahilyani, who is conducting the 26/11 case hearings, directed the Mumbai Police Commissioner and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to initiate the process of issuing the non-bailable warrants (NBWs) through Interpol.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had Monday submitted a list of the absconding accused before the special court and said that since the addresses of 22 of the 35 absconders were available, NBWs should be issued against them.
The prosecution had sought the NBWs nearly three months ago but the court had then asked it to provide the complete addresses of the accused, a majority of them believed to be in Pakistan.
Nikam made a fresh plea after receiving the addresses of 27 accused absconders from the central government.
Currently, only one Pakistani citizen, Mohammed Ajmal Amir alias Kasab, is in custody and undergoing trial for his role in the 26/11 attacks.
Kasab plays psychological game with lawyers
His nine accomplices, all from Pakistan, were gunned down during the 60-hour anti-terror operations by the combined security forces.
Hafiz Sayeed, considered one of the masterminds of the 26/11 attacks, had been put under house arrest in December 2008 but released June 2 by a Lahore court for want of evidence.
The other accused absconders against whom NBWs are sought include: Abu Hamza, Abu Al Kama alias Amjid, Abu Kaahfa, Muzammil alias Yusuf, Zarar Shah, Abu Fahadullah, Abu Abdul Rehman, Abu Anas, Abu Bashir, Abu Imran, Abu Mufti Saeed, Abu Umar Saeed, Mohammed Ishfaq, Javed Iqbal, Sajid Iftikhar, Khurram Shahdad, Abu Abdur Rehman, Abu Mavia and Abu Hanzla Pathan.
The NBW is sought to be issued also against a Pakistan army officer identified as Colonel R Sadatullah.