M A I N   N E W S

No finger-pointing please, Pak tells India
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 15
Pakistani Foreign Secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan today made reference to Malegaon and Gujarat violence twice and advised India not to indulge in finger-pointing whenever incidents like the Mumbai train blasts happen.

Mr Khan, at a press conference at Pakistan High Commission just before his departure, said incidents of violence, extremism and terrorism were not confined to Pakistan only as it was a global phenomenon. On the issue of finger-pointing, he even went ballistic when he remarked “For any country to try to destabilise others is a dangerous folly”.

Mr Khan also categorically stated that India had given “some” evidence relating to some terror incidents, which he flipped through cursorily, but the Mumbai blasts evidence had not been given. He also claimed that there had been no discussion on the July 11 serial train blasts in Mumbai. He said “people concerned” in Pakistan will examine the Indian evidence.

Mr Khan, in response to a barrage of “yes-no” type of questions on whether India did not even discuss Mumbai blasts, said: “The information sharing is done in a written manner. I am an old man. I may forget the next day something told to me today.”

His Indian counterpart, Mr Shiv Shanker Menon, who talked to the media separately shortly later, confirmed that India had indeed not handed over evidence in Mumbai blasts to Pakistan. That was because the prosecution had not filed the chargesheet before the designated court and handing over evidence to a foreign country before filing of chargesheet would have meant “contempt of our own courts”. However, Mr Menon categorically stated that India did talk about Mumbai blasts during the just-ended talks.

The only common ground that the two Foreign Secretaries struck in their separate press interactions was on Siachen dispute. Both Mr Khan and Mr Menon admitted that gaps still continued to remain in the two sides’ positions on Siachen.

Mr Khan, however, turned poetic on the issue of Siachen. Consider this remark by Mr Khan on the Indian demand of authentication of troops’ position on either side of the world’s highest battlefield: “If the desire is indication of position as they are today, it can be accommodated. But if the intention is to seek endorsement of a certain claim, then it is unfair. We have our apprehensions and fears which are like shadows. They can shrink or they can become formidable.”



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