Rehman Malik vows to take Samjhauta Express case to international court

Published: May 16, 2019
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In February 2007, bomb blasts tore through two carriages of the Samjhauta Express. PHOTO: FILE

In February 2007, bomb blasts tore through two carriages of the Samjhauta Express. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Senator Rehman Malik vowed on Thursday to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the families of the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing victims.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the families at the parliament, the former interior minister said India had refused to allow a Pakistani witness to testify in the case.
“Indian authorities offered Rs1.5 million to the Pakistani woman whose father was martyred in the attack so she would remain silent,” he said.

“Besides, neither the Indian army personnel who supplied the explosives for the attack nor the Pakistani families who filed a petition were produced before the court,” he added.

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“The Senate committee has summoned the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and interior ministry officials over the matter. The testimonies of the witnesses will be recorded in a local court.”
Malik said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was playing politics on the issue and urged global human rights organisations to speak to the victims’ families.

In March this year, the Special National Investigation Agency court in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh acquitted four men, accused of bombing a train between India and Pakistan in 2007 that killed 68 people, including 44 innocent Pakistanis, citing a lack of evidence.

The court gave its verdict after dismissing a petition filed by the daughter of a Pakistani victim, who wanted to get her statement recorded as a witness.

The court acquitted all the four accused, including Swami Aseemnanad, who according to Pakistan was the main perpetrator and activist of Hindu terrorist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Aseemanand was jailed in 2010 after admitting his involvement in the attack on the train near Panipat, about 100 kilometres north of Delhi. He later said he had been tortured to give a false statement.

Two coaches of the Samjhauta Express, a bi-weekly train that runs between New Delhi and Lahore, caught fire late on February 19, 2007, after two improvised explosive devices exploded, according to a charge-sheet filed by the NIA in 2013. In all, the NIA had accused eight men of conducting the “dreadful terrorist act”.
Pakistan immediately condemned the ruling as a “travesty of justice”.

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