NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India wants Pakistan to hand over 40 people it believes are behind militant attacks and other crimes, India’s foreign minister said on Thursday, but ruled out military action against its neighbor as a solution.
“We have given them lists of 40 persons not one, not 20 — lists of 40 persons and we have also pointed out that their denial is not going to resolve the issue,” Pranab Mukherjee told Indian parliament during a debate on the Mumbai attacks.
Indian officials had previously demanded that Pakistan hand over 20 suspected militants, some of them linked to last month’s Mumbai attack in which 179 people were killed by gunmen that New Delhi believes were from Pakistan.
Asked by an angry lawmaker why India was not attacking Pakistan after so much proof of its complicity in fomenting trouble in India, Mukherjee replied: “That is no solution.”
Islamabad either denies the presence of the suspects demanded by New Delhi or says India has not presented enough evidence to warrant their extradition.
The list includes the founders of at least two Kashmiri militant groups fighting Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region who New Delhi says have broadened their activity to attack other Indian cities as well.
“You may deny but how are you going to convince your own people when these faces appear in the TV screen,” Mukherjee said, urging Pakistan to do more to stop attacks from its soil.
Global pressure has seen Pakistan raid several Islamist militant training camps and detain or arrest some of the militant leaders India wants extradited.
But India is not satisfied.
“Please follow it up seriously,” Mukherjee said, recalling similar measures by its neighbors when militants attacked the Indian parliament in 2001.
“Therefore if it is not followed to the logical conclusion — complete dismantling of the infrastructure facilities available from that side to facilitate terrorist attack, of banning the organizations — how does that help us?”