Unbelievable to accuse Pakistan over Mumbai attacks: Salman
16 July, 2012
NEW DELHI: New Pakistani envoy to India Salman Bashir on Sunday said it was "unbelievable" and "incredible" to allege his country's state institutions' involvement in the Mumbai attacks, days after New Delhi demanded further action following Abu Jundal's revelations.
Stating that Pakistan was looking at a new way of conducting its ties with India, Bashir said he expects India to do its part since it takes "two to tango".
"As I said if our own army headquarters are attacked, if ISI offices are attacked, then I think it is really unbelievable, incredible to allege that Pakistani state institutions have been involved in this (Mumbai attacks). We ought to look at the situation very objectively in our own respective national interests," Bashir told Karan Thapar on CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate programme.
Trying to clear any question marks over Islamabad's commitment to renewed peace process with India, especially in the backdrop of the arrest of Jundal, who has alleged involvement of certain ISI officers in the Mumbai attacks, Bashir said Pakistan's leadership, state institutions and people have realised that it is in the national interest to have best of relations with India.
"I would say there has been a sea change in Pakistan-India relationship scenario. I can say for Pakistan with great degree of certainty that all levels, the leadership, state institutions, people of Pakistan, we realise that it is in Pakistan's self interest, national interest to have best of relations," he said.
On the issue of terror, Bashir said Pakistan was willing to cooperate and reiterated his country's offer for a joint investigation into the Mumbai attacks. He said Pakistan is yet to hear from India on this.
Replying to query if Pakistan was willing to probe the involvement of its state institutions in the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, Bashir argued that his country itself was a victim of terror, which he described as a "virus".
He also said it was wrong to say Pakistan was epicentre of terror.
He referred to the recent foreign secretary-level talks and said there was "very good conversation, good dialogue" which also included the points raised by India pertaining to Jundal.
Pressed further on the issue of Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia recently with a fake Pakistani passport, Bashir said India should share information with Pakistan.
Asked if Jundal's statements on role of the Pakistani state elements in the Mumbai attacks is a corroboration of what American terrorist David Headley said, Bashir said one cannot take things reported in the media at face value.