New Delhi: India and Pakistan are locked in a war of words over whether the communication sent to Islamabad informing it of 26/11 terrorist Ajmal Kasab's hanging had been received and acknowledged. India maintains that it got no acknowledgement of the letter, while Pakistan says it has been sent.
Yet, it is learnt, Pakistan did accept a letter asking it to increase security for Indian diplomats posted there, following the hanging. Both communications were sent together.
Islamabad rejected Delhi's assertion that it had refused to accept a letter informing it of the decision to hang Kasab. The Pakistan government said that it had "received that note and acknowledged its receipt". Reacting to India's claim that Islamabad had returned a couriered letter, Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Moazzam Khan said "these reports were baseless and incorrect".
But sources in the Indian government, late this afternoon, said that the Indian deputy High Commissioner met the Director General (South Asia) of Pakistan's Foreign Office to hand over a copy of Maharashtra government's letter informing of the completion of legal proceedings and the hanging of Kasab. The letter was addressed to Kasab's next of kin. The sources said that the Pakistani official refused to accept the communication, following which it was faxed to the official and transmission report was received, indicating that it had been delivered. As of now, the sources said, there has been no acknowledgment of the fax.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had told reporters in New Delhi immediately after Kasab's execution that Pakistan had refused to acknowledge a letter informing it of the decision to hang Kasab.
"The External Affairs Ministry through our mission in Islamabad had informed the Pakistan government about Kasab's hanging. When they did not accept the letter, they were communicated through fax," Mr Shinde told reporters in New Delhi.
"Our obligation to inform them has been fulfilled," foreign minister Salman Khurshid said.
Government sources have said that family members of Kasab, who live in Pakistan, had also been informed by Indian High Commission in Islamabad. "His family members were communicated through courier by our High Commission. We have the receipt of the courier sent and that was later given to the Maharashtra government," the sources said. The executed terrorist had asked for his mother to be informed.