India has decided to share the initial leads in its probe on the Samjhauta Express blasts with Islamabad.
According to a report in the Economic Times, Indian Home Secretary Gopal Pillai will update Pakistani’s Interior Secretary Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on the outcome of the investigations by India’s National Investigation Agency.
He will do this during home secretary-level talks in India on March 28 and 29.
The 2007 train bombings killed 68 people, mostly Pakistani nationals, when bomb blasts tore through two carriages of the Samjhauta Express as it travelled past Panipat towards Amritsar on its way to the Pakistani border.
After the confessions last month of jailed Hindu extremist leader to his involvement in several terrorist incidents, Pakistan urged India to share the findings of its investigations. The Indian government flatly refused.
“At this stage we cannot share the probe details as it is too premature. The investigation is still on and is at a preliminary stage. We will take an appropriate decision when the investigations are concluded,” a home ministry official told reporters as well as conveying the refusal in a home ministry communique to the external affairs ministry.
Swami Aseemanand, a leader of Hindu extremist outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), confessed before a judicial magistrate that he and his fellow RSS activists were involved in the Samjhauta blasts as well as at mosques in Malegaon in Maharashtra state and Andhra Pradesh’s state capital, Hyderabad, and a Muslim shrine in Ajmer in Rajasthan.
Aseemanand’s confessions are now the main weapon with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI )and NIA in India’s ongoing probe into the blast which the Pakistani Foreign Office has accused as progressing at a ‘snail’s pace’.
In an interview with Munizae Jahangir of Express 24/7, Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that New Delhi will share information with Islamabad once investigations are complete.
The Economic Times report claims that the report to be shared next month will include the inference that the blast was caused by right-wing extremists. It says that New Delhi will inform Islamabad on the ongoing efforts to track down the other accused - and have them join the dots. If this is the case, it could signify an improvement in relations between the two neighbours ahead of the formal resumption of talks in July.