India lacks courage, Pak provokes over Samjhauta probe
On the eve of foreign secretary-level talks in Thimphu, Pakistan on Saturday came out with a provocative statement saying that India's handling of the Samjhauta Express train bombing case showed that it lacked "courage to unearth culpability of Hindu extremists".
"India seems to be lacking courage to unearth culpability of Hindu extremists and their links with some Indian Army personnel," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in a statement that may not go down well with New Delhi.
India's handling of the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing case "doesn't inspire much hope", he said.
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Image: A policeman stands outside a burnt carriage of Samjhauta Express train near Panipat on February 2007 following two bomb blasts
Photographs: Desmond Boylan/Reuters
'India needs to bridge the gap between what it says and what it does'
The spokesman emphasised that India "needs to bridge the gap between what it says and what it does".
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will meet her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in the Bhutanese capital on Sunday to make a fresh attempt to restart the bilateral dialogue process stalled since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The Indian side is expected to seek an update from Pakistan on the Mumbai attacks investigations and trial. This will be the first meeting between the foreign secretaries after the failed talks between the foreign ministers in July last year in Pakistan.
Image: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao (L) shakes hands with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir before their meeting in New Delhi on February 25, 2010
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
'India uses terror as propaganda against Pak'
Pakistan has been calling for action against those responsible for bombing the cross-border train ever since Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha leader Swami Aseemanand recently confessed to a special court in India about the involvement of Sangh activists in several terror attacks, including the assault on the Samjhauta train that runs between the two countries.
Basit said it was "unfortunate that India, which uses terrorism as propaganda against Pakistan, has still not been able to complete its investigations into the Samjhauta Express blasts".
He added: "Even after the lapse of four years, India somewhat conveniently asserts that its investigations are incomplete. We do not know how many more years India would need to bring the perpetrators of the Samjhauta terrorist act to justice, and provide relief to the families of the 68 victims, including 42 Pakistan nationals."
Image: Swami Assemanand (Centre, in orange robe)
Photographs: Rediff archives
Pak's 'aggressive' defense mechanism?
On the other hand, India has criticised Pakistan's handling of the prosecution of seven suspects, including Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who have been charged with planning, financing and executing the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The trial has been affected by several procedural delays and the judge has been changed thrice.
Image: Mumbai's iconic Taj Mahal Hotel burns duirng the 26/11 terror strikes
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com