India today said it will continue to press for the extradition of David Headley, one of the key plotters of the November 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai that left 167 people dead; though this amounts to little more than posturing as the chances of extradition are almost non-existent.
The US Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist was on Thursday sentenced to 35 years in jail by a Chicago court for his role in the 27 / 11 attacks. He escaped the death penalty by cooperating with investigators; but the judge while sentencing him made no secret of his belief that Headley was getting off lightly and deserved the maximum sentence.
External affairs minister Salman Khurshid today said the government was ''slightly disappointed'' over the sentence, saying the 52-year-old convict should have got the ''severest sentence''.
Reasserting India's demand that Headley should be tried in India, Khurshid said he would have possibly got a ''serious and severe'' sentence in this country.
Khurshid however added, ''The-35-year sentencing and what the judge said is a beginning. We understand there are legal procedures in the US but nevertheless the position we have, the request (extradition) that we have made remains intact,'' Khurshid told reporters.
''I think going by what the judge has said this should go a long way in hopefully conveying a very clear message that the kind of things that have been going on in the past will not be tolerated,'' Khurshid said.