Kasab is a terrorist, must be hanged: Pak minister

Addu (Maldives): Mumbai terror attacks convict Ajmal Kasab is a terrorist and should go to the gallows, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said today. "Kasab is a terrorist. He is a non-state actor. He should go to the gallows," Malik told Indian journalists here.

Malik, who is here as part of the Pakistani delegation attending the SAARC summit, said the proposed visit of a Pakistani Judicial Commission to India will help quicken the trial of 26/11 accused in his country. He said Pakistan Government was awaiting a visit of the Judicial Commission to India and get some evidence that will help in prosecuting the accused in his country if we have "credible evidence." "Once that Commission will go to India, its findings are important for the judicial process in Pakistan. When the findings are there, they will be covering all the legal sides. Then there will be some judicially-satisfactory statement," he said.

Asked how long the Judicial Commission would stay in India, Malik said it would be there for three-four days as long as "you can accept them as guest." To a question on when the trial would complete, the Minister said as soon as the report comes, the process will begin "but it is too early to say how long it would go on."

24-year-old Kasab, the lone surviving gunman captured during the Mumbai attacks, has been sentenced to death for attacking Mumbai and killing 166 people on November 26, 2008 along with nine Pakistani terrorists. His sentence was upheld by the Bombay High Court but the Supreme Court has stayed his execution.

Asked about Pakistan removing Jamat-ud-Dawa from the terror list, Malik said, "Information is not evidence and there is need for concrete legal evidence for keeping them in the terror list". On the release of JuD founder Hafiz Saeed, he said, "He was bailed out by the highest court of Pakistan and the government can`t do anything about it".

He reiterated Pakistan`s stand that it was not aware of Osama bin Laden`s presence in the country. He said bin Laden was trained by intelligence agencies like CIA and ISI and he knew how to hide.