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ISI link to 26/11 is baseless propaganda, says Pak

July 15, 2010 04:13 IST

Pakistani Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira dismissed as "baseless propaganda and assumptions" India's allegation that the Inter-Services Intelligence was behind the Mumbai attacks. "When the two Foreign Ministers are meeting, such allegations should not be made," he said during an interaction with a group of Indian journalists, a day ahead of a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan.

Kaira said Pakistan is the biggest victim of terrorism in the region and would not back terrorist incidents against its neighbours. "How can a Pakistani organisation or the government or any state-actor think of this?" he said, adding that the Indian allegations are "baseless propaganda and assumptions". He was referring to remarks attributed to Home Secretary G K Pillai that ISI had a "much more significant" role to play in the 26/11 plot than earlier thought. Asked about the need for actions against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks, he said the Pakistani courts would decided this issue. He added that Indian and Pakistani courts are free and the matters of different individuals and organisations are before Pakistani courts.

"Can the Indian government dictate to courts to pass a judgement? The (Pakistani) courts are deciding these issues and we have asked the Indian government for more concrete evidence. The courts are independent and we can't direct or overpower them," he said. Asked about recent provocative speeches by Jamaat-ud-Daawa chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahidden chief Syed Salahuddin, Kaira said the Pakistan government is willing to present their case in court but the Indian authorities will have to provide more evidence. He said there is a realisation on both sides that there is a need to move forward, and that the ice has been broken after the recent meetings between the Prime Ministers of the two countries and later their Foreign Secretaries. He said both the countries have to take along public opinion to make historic decisions. "We can't live with each other, we can't leave each other," he said summing up the relations between the two nations.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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