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Kasab execution unlikely to impact India-Pakistan peace process

On Wednesday morning, India executed Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor amongst the 10 terrorists who killed 166 people in Mumbai in 2008.

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An Indian security officer takes a photograph of a sand sculpture depicting Mohammed Ajmal Kasab in Balasore district, India, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. India executed Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai terror attack early Wednesday.

(AP Photo)

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India’s execution of Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor amongst the 10 terrorists who held Mumbai hostage for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people, is unlikely to have much impact on warming relations between India and Pakistan, analysts say.
 
The Indian External Affairs minister, Salman Khurshid, said in a press conference that India hoped that Pakistan would expedite action against the plotters of the attack, known here as 26/11. "Frankly speaking, we have allowed rule of law to prevail [in the case of Ajmal Kasab]. Similarly, we hope rule of law will be followed in Pakistan. There is not vast difference between the criminal procedures in India and Pakistan," he said.

However, Pakistan's failure to punish the plotters of the attacks has been a consistent complaint from New Delhi, and it did not keep India from resuming peace talks with Pakistan in early 2010. Since then, the two countries have made considerable progress in increasing trade ties and easing visa restrictions.

“To my mind, the execution of Ajmal Kasab will be a passing blip in the peace process,” says Sankarshan Thakur, roving editor of Calcutta's Telegraph newspaper, who has recently returned from an official trip to Pakistan. “Pakistan’s complete disowning of Kasab means that few can shed tears about his execution in Pakistan, and India sees the hanging as nothing but the end of a criminal justice procedure."

While Pakistan admitted in January 2009 that Kasab was indeed a Pakistani citizen, it has so far not asked for his body, which has been buried in the premises of the prison in Pune where he was hanged Wednesday morning.

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