We hope India will share details of their investigations at the earliest, says Basit

Equating the pace of India's investigation into the Samjhauta Express blast to that of a snail, Pakistan on Thursday said delay on New Delhi's part in responding to its request for permission to send a judicial commission to record statements in the Mumbai terror attack case was not helping the trial proceedings against the seven accused here.

Asked for a reaction on reports from India stating that it was still too premature to share details of the Samjhauta Express blast probe with Pakistan, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said: “We hope India will share details of their investigations at the earliest as was conveyed to them formally two days ago.” On Monday, Pakistan formally asked India to share details of the probe in the wake of reports of the involvement of some “Hindutva” elements in the blast.

Referring to the blast of 2007 in which 42 Pakistanis were killed as a “reprehensible act of terrorism reportedly perpetrated by Hindu extremists,” Mr. Basit said: “It is now almost four years to the blast. The Indian investigation is clearly moving at a snail's pace to put it mildly.”

Of late Pakistan has been using the Samjhauta Express blast investigations to counter criticism of delay on Islamabad's front in the Mumbai terror attack case. Peeved with India making the dialogue process hostage to the Mumbai terror case, Pakistan has time again accused New Delhi of raising a hue and cry on terrorism while ignoring its own responsibilities.

About the status of Pakistan's request to India to allow a judicial commission take statements from the lone terrorist nabbed alive in the Mumbai terror attacks and the policemen who interrogated him, the spokesman said that New Delhi's response was still awaited. “The delay on the part of India is obviously not helping the trial proceedings against the seven accused in Pakistan.”

As for Jama'at-ud-Da'wah chief Hafiz Saeed's demand that the Pakistan government should defend him also in the case filed against him and the serving and former Director-Generals (DGs) of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in a U.S. court, Mr. Basit sought to draw a distinction between officials and non-officials. “Pakistan will defend its government officials. As for defending non-officials is concerned, I'm not in a position to answer.”

Saeed has sought a court directive to the Pakistan government to fight his case in the U. S. court where relatives of two Jews killed in the Mumbai terror attack have filed a case against the serving and former ISI DGs and Saeed. Last month, the Foreign Office announced the government's decision to strongly contest the case. “The government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Embassy in Washington shall defend the legal suit on behalf of the ISI and its DGs fully and properly,” the Foreign Office had said days after Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani assured the National Assembly that the ISI DG would never be asked to appear before a U. S. court.


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