ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has asked India to clarify its position over the recent revelations by an Indian government officer that the 2001 Parliament and 2008 Mumbai attacks were engineered by New Delhi.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry confirmed on Thursday that Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi contacted the Indian government over the startling disclosure.
The issue, according to sources, was also raised by Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani during a meeting with newly-appointed Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Raghavan. The Indian envoy met the foreign secretary to officially take charge of his new responsibilities on Thursday.
Separately, Federal Information Minister for Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rasheed said Pakistan would give its reaction once it formally received the Indian response.
Last week, a former officer of the Indian home ministry alleged that Indian government orchestrated the two high-profile terrorist attacks – for which New Delhi has officially held Pakistan-based militant groups responsible.
According to India’s Times of India (TOI) newspaper, RVS Mani, who as home ministry under-secretary signed the affidavits submitted in court in the Ishrat Jahan ‘fake encounter case’, said that Satish Verma, a former member of the Central Bureau of Investigation-SIT probe team, told him that both the 2001 attack on Indian parliament and the 2008 Mumbai attacks were set up with the objective of strengthening counter-terror legislation.
Mani maintained that according to Verma, the attack on the Indian Parliament was followed by the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act and the attacks in Mumbai were followed by an amendment to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
According to a foreign ministry official, Foreign Secretary Jilani and the new Indian high commissioner also discussed prospects of resumption of third-round of composite dialogue between the two countries. The official disclosed that the third round was expected to begin soon as the two sides were finalising roadmap for the series of meetings at the official level.
The third round was supposed to take place earlier this year but due to tensions over border clashes coupled with democratic transition in Pakistan delayed the process.
“We have proposed dates for the next round and now waiting for the Indian response,” added the official.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.