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Malegaon blast is our internal matter, says India

January 20, 2009 16:50 IST

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Amid reports that Pakistan may seek extradition of Malegaon blast accused Lieuteant Colonel Shrikant Purohit in the Samjhauta Express blast case, India on Tuesday virtually rejected the demand, saying Islamabad [Images] had no locus standi in the investigations involving the Army officer.

"The case (Malegaon blast) is under examination by the Anti-Terror Squad (of Maharashtra Police). It is our internal matter. We are investigating it. How can Pakistan be concerned with that," Defence Minister A K Antony said.

"Our agencies are inquiring about that. Let us wait for the final results. It (investigation) is our responsibility and we are doing it," Antony said in reply to queries.

On Pakistan-based terror groups laying conditions such as resolution of the Kashmir issue for them to shun violence against India, Antony said: "This (terrorism) has nothing to do with Kashmir, which is an integral part of India. We will not entertain any kind of interference from any source and any quarter regarding Kashmir."

Asked if the US operation against Taliban [Images] in Afghanistan forced New Delhi [Images] to give up military options against Pakistan, the Defence Minister said Indian decisions were not influenced by any other nation, even if they were friendly.

"India takes its own decisions and after carefully assessing the situation. We are friendly with all countries, but our decision cannot be influenced by anybody," he said.

Rejecting suggestions of sending armed forces to Afghanistan to put pressure on Pakistan from all sides, Antony said, "There is no question of sending the military to Afghanistan. Our assistance to Afghanistan is in the form of humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation and reconstruction." 

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