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December 21, 2001
2210 IST

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Pak declines to take the bodies of five terrorists

K J M Varma in Islamabad

Pakistan on Friday declined to accept the bodies of the five terrorists who attacked the Indian Parliament on December 13 and asked India to agree to its proposal for a joint inquiry into the incident.

A foreign ministry statement issued in Islamabad said that the deputy high commissioner of Pakistan in New Delhi was summoned by the Indian external affairs ministry and made a request to receive the dead bodies of the five 'Pakistanis' for burial in Pakistan.

The Indian side was told that considering the 'inherently biased' attitude of Indian agencies, 'any unilateral determination regarding the identity of these individuals was unacceptable to Pakistan', the statement said.

"The Indian government was once again asked to provide credible evidence about any involvement of Pakistan-groups or individuals for investigation and appropriate action by the government of Pakistan," the statement said.

"The deputy high commissioner urged the Indian government to reconsider Pakistan's proposal for an impartial inquiry into the incident and to resist the temptation to use this reprehensible incident to placate domestic lobbies," it said.

Earlier, India had informed Pakistan that it was prepared to handover bodies of the five Pakistani terrorists who attacked Parliament House on December 13.

While four of them were shot dead by security personnel, the fifth was a suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the main entrance of Parliament House.

Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Jaleel Abbas Jilani was called to South Block and told that the bodies of the five Pakistani nationals -- Mohammed, Raza, Rana, Haider and Hamza -- could be handed over so that that they could be given to their families.

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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