On a day when the Supreme Court sought the government’s response to a plea of Kargil martyr Capt. Saurabh Kalia’s father seeking a directive to the Centre to raise in the International Court of Justice the case of his son’s torture by the Pakistan army, visiting Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday he was not aware whether he died of a bullet or weather.
“When a fight is going on in the border, we really don’t know whether he [Capt. Kalia] died of a Pakistan bullet or … of weather. I have not examined the case… It has just come to my notice,” Mr. Malik told journalists here.
Expressing his desire to meet Capt. Kalia’s father, he said: “I will be very happy to see the father of the boy, the father of the soldier… I will shake hands and like to know what has happened exactly.”
Reiterating that he was in India for peace talks, he said: “When there is war, bullet doesn’t see who is there. Whenever any human being dies, nobody would hesitate to say sorry for that... That is why you see the statement of the President of Pakistan and also the vision of your Prime Minister. What we want is peace… We don’t want these things to be repeated.”
Earlier in the day, reacting to the Supreme Court order on the plea of Capt. Kalia father, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the government expressed its sensitivity and hoped Islamabad would bring the perpetrators to justice.
“I think the government has expressed its sensitivity, its concern and its utter revulsion at the manner in which the late Capt. Saurabh Kalia was treated while he was in captivity. Therefore, his quest for justice is pursuit for justice. It is something the government empathises with. And we do hope that Pakistan also realises the weight of the public opinion in India and takes all steps to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Capt. Kalia led a team that first reported intrusion by the Pakistani army in the Kargil sector in May 1999. The five-member team was captured and tortured by the Pakistani army in violation of the Geneva Convention. Their mutilated bodies were handed over to India after 20 days.