NATIONAL

Willing to join probe into Delhi blast, says Musharraf

Ready to provide total and unequivocal support in investigation

B. Muralidhar Reddy

RAWALPINDI: Characterising the serial blasts of New Delhi as "dastardly acts of terrorism," Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Monday announced that Islamabad would like to "join" any investigations by India to unearth the culprits.

Addressing a news conference at his camp office here, Gen. Musharraf disclosed that he has placed a telephone call to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later in the evening and in his conversation with Dr. Singh would offer support of Pakistan in any investigation on the blasts that India would undertake.

Gen. Musharraf surprised a large number of invited journalists by beginning with the subject of serial blasts in New Delhi in his introductory remarks. "I and people of Pakistan condole with the Indian Government on the dastardly act of terrorism. We are ready to provide total and unequivocal support in any investigation India would like to undertake on the blasts."

In response to another question if the serial blasts would have any impact on the India-Pakistan peace process in view of the suspicion on the involvement of banned militants in Pakistan in the incidents, Gen. Musharraf replied in the negative. "I do not think so. It should have not any impact."

At the same time, Gen. Musharraf said Pakistan could not be expected to act against anyone on the basis of suspicions and allegations. The Pakistan President said his country was ready to act if any `facts' (about involvement of any Pakistan based outfit) were brought to its notice. "We would certainly act," he said.

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