Pak summons Indian envoy over Samjhauta blast case

Pakistan summoned India's deputy high commissioner on Friday and lodged a protest over Indian government's failure to contest the conditional bail to Swami Assemanand, chargesheeted in connection with the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast that killed 68 people, including 42 Pakistanis.

india Updated: Aug 14, 2015 23:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Pakistan on Friday summoned India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad to protest the bail granted to Samjhauta blasts accused Swami Aseemanand while its high commissioner in New Delhi said his country would never “abandon Kashmiris and their cause”.

The provocations came a day after Pakistan confirmed its national security adviser would be travelling to India for talks with his counterpart on August 23 — after keeping New Delhi guessing about its participation in the backdrop of tension sparked by recent terror attacks and infiltration attempts.

Pakistan’s foreign office said deputy high commissioner JP Singh met the Director General (South Asia & SAARC), who lodged a protest against the National Investigation Agency’s decision to not oppose bail to Aseemanand.

“The government of Pakistan has serious reservations about the efficiency of the court in processing and disposing of cases regarding terrorism, especially those involving the death of Pakistani citizens,” the foreign office said.

Blasts ripped through the Samjhauta Express — a twice-weekly train service connecting Delhi and Lahore — on February 18, 2007, killing 68 people, 42 of them Pakistanis.

The NIA decided not to oppose the conditional bail to Assemanand as it did not find any grounds for it, minister of state for home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary had informed Lok Sabha earlier this week. However, Aseemanand, 78, remains in jail in Haryana in connection with two other terror cases.

At an event marking Pakistan’s independence day in Delhi, high commissioner to India Abdul Basit Basit stressed that for the two neighbours to have a normal and cooperative relationship, the decades-old Kashmir dispute must be resolved.

“The aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir could neither be ignored nor put on the back-burner. No matter how much more time their legitimate struggle takes, Pakistan will never abandon Kashmiris and their cause,” he said.

In response, a ministry of external affairs spokesperson tweeted, “The only struggle in J-K is against Pakistani-sponsored terrorism. This will be the subject of the upcoming NSA-level talks.”

Read:Samjhauta Express case: NIA not to challenge Aseemanand's bail

First Published: Aug 14, 2015 18:00 IST