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Pakistan asks India to clarify confessions of Indian official

17 July, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has asked India to clarify and explain the reports that point to an Indian official's confession that the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and the 2008 Mumbai attacks were carried out by New Delhi itself "with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation".

This damaging report comes from New Delhi at a time when India says it is in talks with Pakistan to resume the third round of bilateral talks. For the past two days, Islamabad has been abuzz with a report published in the Times of India, which disclosed that the Indian government had orchestrated the two high-profile terrorist attacks which New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based militant groups.

While Pakistan's talk shows on Monday went ballistic without actually verifying the authenticity of the media report, there has been no word from the Indian government so far. In fact, it has totally ignored the report, not even bothering to deny it.

"We have seen the media reports. We are ascertaining more information about it. We will then be in a position to comment. We hope the Indian government will clarify and explain these reports," the spokesman at the Foreign Office told.

The ministry has also been in touch with Pakistan's high commission in New Delhi but no fresh information had been provided. Even the spokesman at the Indian Ministry for External Affairs, who is quite active while tweeting, has remained silent on the issue.The deputy high commissioner at the Indian high commission was sent a query but there was no response.

The main reason that there is interest in Pakistan, even though the claim sounds far-fetched, is because in the past whenever militant attacks have taken place, for example on the Samjhota Express and several other incidents, fingers were first pointed at Pakistan, but investigations proved that there were Indian citizens involved. In fact, anti-terror squad chief of Mahrashtra, Hemant Karkare, who was investigating the Samjhota attack, was assassinated during the Mumbai attacks.

It was after the revelation of such attacks that the Indian media itself talked about the 'Saffron terrorism'.The Times of India added that when confronted with the accusations, Satish Verma, a former official of the CBI, did not deny that he had put the blame for the Mumbai attacks on his own government.

Verma refused to comment. "I cannot speak to the media on such matters. Ask the CBI," said the Gujarat cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.Meanwhile, there is good news on the bilateral front with the spokesman at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, announcing the third round of 'resumed dialogue', which was being discussed through the diplomatic channels. The spokesman, during a media briefing, recalled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's special envoy Shaharyar M Khan's recent visit to India.

"We exchanged views and he has gone back with an understanding of our views on this. We will take it up when we receive the response from Pakistan on that," said the spokesman."The third round of resumed dialogue started in September with meetings of commerce secretaries. Another meeting was scheduled for the Wullar Barrage and that did not happen.

"That is the meeting now which needs to be taken forward along with various other meetings in resumed dialogue format," he said.Meanwhile, there has been no word from the Foreign Office in Islamabad.

End.

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