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Pak given evidence on terror, says Indian envoy

Menon told the ICCI that India had never charged Pakistan, but had given enough evidence.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2006 13:41 IST

Differences in perception of India and Pakistan on terrorism was played out on Thursday when Pakistan repudiated Indian envoy Shivshankar Menon's assertion that there was enough evidence for Islamabad to follow up on involvement of Pakistan-based groups in last month's Mumbai terror blasts.

Menon told the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) that India had never charged Pakistan, but had given enough evidence in May this year on the involvement of terror groups based in Pakistan in violent incidents in India. The Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad rejected the assertions about the involvement of people living in Pakistan.

Commenting on Menon's assertion, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said the Indian high commissioner had levelled baseless allegations.

She repeated the old Pakistani line that most of the people accused by India either did not reside in Pakistan or they "belonged to the freedom movement being waged in Kashmir".

"Since Pakistan condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations, it deplored the Mumbai bomb blasts," she added.

During a question-answer session, Menon underlined the need for joint efforts to curb terrorism, which is a constant threat to both Pakistan and India.

He told the audience that India had furnished evidence to the Pakistani authorities about some groups involved in terrorist activities in India and operating from Pakistan.

"Islamabad should look into the matter on the basis of the provided evidence," he asserted.

Menon said Pakistan should look into evidence, which Indian Home Secretary VK Duggal has handed over to Pakistani authorities in May this year. "There is a need of a strong commitment on behalf of Pakistan," he said.

"The Indian Government had never charged Pakistan for the recent series of bomb explosions in Mumbai. They are carrying out the investigations, the conclusion has not yet been drawn," the Indian envoy said.

The Nation newspaper said Menon sought to shun the impressions that there has been a serious deadlock in bilateral dialogue. "The relations should not be judged on the basis of the press statements coming out from Islamabad and New Delhi. It is a long process but there should be a commitment with patience on both sides," Menon was quoted as saying.