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Sunday, April 11, 2010

India Demands Access to David Headley Coleman?

Meeting in what is being termed as a mini bilateral summit in the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC, Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh raised the issue of direct access to David Headley Coleman with President Obama who was reported to have conspired with the banned terrorist organization Lashkar e Taiba and Pakistani ex-military officers to launch the  26/11 Mumbai Blasts in 2008.

Though sympathetic to the demand of the Indian Prime Minister, there is very little that the US president can do. Under the plea bargain agreement which David Headley has reached with the Justice department it clearly has been agreed upon that Headley will not be extradited to India or Pakistan for that matter.

Pressure from the Indian side, though contextually correct and cruicial to the ongoing investigation in demanding access to Headley appears to be a non-starter as Headley could easily plead the 5th and remain silent. It is noteworthy to mention here that India had signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the U.S. in 2001 which was further revised in 2005.

The Indian media which is accompanying the Prime Minister on this visit seems almost paranoid on the issue of the Headley case and repeated questions to Foreign Secretary, Nirupma Som was deftly dodged by her.

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