New Delhi: Chile has reportedly promised to explore the possibility of extraditing Kandahar mastermind Abdul Rauf to India. However, Chilean authorities have asked the Indian officials to first establish his identity.

According to reports, if India is able to prove Rauf’s identity then further action can be prompted even in the absence of an extradition treaty between the two nations.

“India would need to submit appropriate documents establishing Rauf's complicity in Kandahar hijack to eventually get his custody,” Chilean officials said.
 
Speaking on the extradition of Rauf, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said, “India is making efforts to ascertain whether the Pakistani man arrested in Chile is Abdul Rauf”.

“Our intelligence agencies have deputed their representatives to that country and make an assessment whether it is the same person who is responsible for the hijacking. If it so, then all necessary follow up action will be initiated”, he added.

An Indian team has already reached Chilean capital Santiago to verify the identification of the man. The verification may be difficult as India does not have any fingerprint or photograph of the 1999 hijacking conspirator. The team is expected to return to India by April 19.

However, according to reports Pakistan has refuted claims of Chilean authorities that the arrested man is the Kandhar hijack mastermind. The report published in The News International has claimed that Maulana Masood Azhar’s relative Abdul Rauf is in Rawalpindi.

Chilean police arrested Abdul Rauf on the basis of Interpol’s red corner notice and informed India, which later decided to send a team of CBI officials to Santiago.

JPN/Bureau