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Press Statement on India's note to ICAO on the hijacking of Indian Airlines

New Delhi
January 19, 2000

Shri A.P. Singh, India's representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), handed over a note verbale to ICAO on the recent hijacking of the Indian Airlines flight IC-814 under Article 13 of the Montreal Convention of 1971 and Article 11 of the Hague Convention of 1970. It was addressed to Mr. Assad Kotaite, President of the Council of ICAO in Montreal. These Conventions require concerned parties to give reports on the circumstances of the offence and the measures taken in relation to the offenders, in particular the results of the extradition proceedings. The following points were made in the note verbale:

i) Government of India has jurisdiction over the offences committed by the hijackers and their accomplices since the offences were committed on board an aircraft registered in India.

ii) The hijackers and the released terrorists had disembarked at Kandahar. The hijackers are Pakistani nationals. We have also reiterated that the hijackers are currently in Pakistan, which has the legal obligations as a state party to these conventions to take them under custody and extradite them to India.

iii) We have asked the Government of Pakistan under the conventions to make all efforts to locate the offenders and take them and their accomplices present in Pakistan into custody and to extradite or prosecute them in accordance with Pakistan's obligations under the above conventions. Pakistan is required under these conventions to inform the ICAO about the steps it has taken in this regard. We have requested that this issue should be followed up by ICAO with Pakistan with a view to apprehending the hijackers and their accomplices and to extradite them to India.

iv) We request that this be brought to the attention of all member states of ICAO so that they can adopt appropriate measure to apprehend the offenders and extradite them to India in the event they find their way from Pakistan to their territory and to strengthen international cooperation to prevent the recurrence of such outrages.

v) Government of India reserves the right to take further measures as appropriate.

A report of the entire incident and identification of the hijackers (names and places of residence) were also handed over to ICAO.