Pakistan mounts diplomatic offensive after Samjhauta blast acquittals

Decision reflective of Indian state policy of promoting and protecting terrorists: Janjua

Kamran Yousaf March 21, 2019
Tehmina Janjua. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has launched a diplomatic offensive against India after the acquittal of perpetrators in the 2007 Samjhauta terrorist attacks by an Indian court on Wednesday.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Thursday conveyed major world capitals about Pakistan’s concerns over the decision. She invited members of the diplomatic corps at the Foreign Office and briefed them on the “historic injustice done to the forty-four Pakistanis killed in the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack in 2007 in India”.

She condemned the acquittal of all four perpetrators, including Swami Aseemanand, the mastermind of the heinous attacks and an activist of the Hindu terrorist organisation, RSS who had publicly confessed his involvement in the terror attacks.

Two coaches of the bi-weekly train that runs between New Delhi and Lahore caught fire late on February 19, 2007, after two improvised explosive devices exploded.

The foreign secretary stressed that the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) itself had earlier charge-sheeted the perpetrators. Indian media, she added, reported extensively about the connection between the Samjhauta terrorist attacks and Hindu extremists, including Lt Colonel Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur who were subsequently arrested in October 2008, including provision of RDX (Research department explosive).

Indian court lets Samjhauta blasts accused walk free

Janjua said that despite repeated requests by Pakistan for a fair trial and expeditiously bringing the perpetrators to justice, after a lapse of more than 11 years, Indian courts have now exonerated the accused.

“Pakistan has already registered a strong demarche with the Indian High Commissioner on 20 March 2019 against the acquittal of the perpetrators of Samjhauta terror attacks,” she said.

“The Indian decision to gradually exonerate and finally acquit the perpetrators despite the presence of clear evidence against them is a reflection of India’s callous insensitivity to the plight of the 44 families of the deceased Pakistanis, who have been waiting for more than a decade to see these terrorists brought to justice. It also demonstrates how India protects terrorists who publicly confessed their odious crimes,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

The statement further noted that the acquittals were also reflective of the Indian state policy of promoting and protecting terrorists.

“This state patronage of extremist Hindutva ideology is not only detrimental to the lives and liberty of all minorities in India, but also dangerous for peace and security in the region,” the Foreign Office statement quoted the foreign secretary as saying.

Janjua noted with great concern that India continues to commit gross human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir. She also expressed concern that frenzy had been created against Pakistan to gain benefits in domestic politics.

She urged all fair minded people to call upon India to explore all judicial remedies to ensure that the terrorists are brought to justice.