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Hand over Mumbai terror culprits, US leader tells Pak

11 March 2015

Agreeing with India's stand that Pakistan had failed to bring to book the culprits behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, United States House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce on Tuesday said that he has asked for Pakistan to hand over Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi to India, or failing that, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague for ''crimes against humanity''.

"I have had discussions with some of the Indian ministers on the subject of Pakistan and the issues that I have spoken on are first on the LeT. I have stayed in the [Taj Mahal Palace] Hotel so many times before and after the horrific Mumbai terror attack. We know that the voice that we hear on the documentary done about that attack is the same individual that today is taking visitors and has not been brought to the court of justice," Royce told the media in New Delhi.

"What I have called for is for Pakistan to turn that individual over to India, or if Pakistan won't do that, which is what they should do, then turn him over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where he will be tried for crimes against humanity and terrorism for what was done in Mumbai," he added.

Royce further said that the US is looking at ways to give more power to the civilian government in Pakistan, while curbing the reach of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

"In terms of efforts to pressure for change in Pakistan, there is a new civilian government in Pakistan and their head of state travelled here for the inauguration of the Prime Minister. The actions by the government itself I believe are different from some of the institutions in the military in that nation, particularly the ISI," he said.

"We are looking at ways to strengthen the civilian military that represents the people of Pakistan while trying to dissuade the ISI from the types of conduct that it has had in the past. So that is the complexity of this relationship," he added.

Royce, former co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India, is leading a bipartisan Congressional delegation to India.

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