India Rejects Pakistan's Attempt To Politicise Samjhauta Blast Verdict

Islamabad conveyed "concerns" regarding the acquittal of the four suspects in the 2007 Samjhauta Express.

India Rejects Pakistan's Attempt To Politicise Samjhauta Blast Verdict

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Pakistan is trying to deflect attention.

New Delhi:

India on Friday rejected Pakistan's attempt to politicise the verdict in the Samjhauta twin-blast case.

"There has been no cooperation from Pakistan. We reject Pakistan's attempt to politicise the matter. It is being done to deflect attention from their failure in bringing perpetrators of several terrorist attacks in India and region to justice," said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

During the weekly press briefing, he said, "We demand that Pakistan should take immediate, credible and irreversible measures against cross-border terrorism without any discrimination and without resorting to such gimmicks."

His remarks come after Islamabad conveyed "concerns" regarding the acquittal of the four suspects in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case to several countries on Wednesday through its Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.

Stating that Islamabad has no understanding of the Indian judicial process, Mr Kumar said, "I think there is a complete lack of understanding as to how our judiciary functions. In all the cases taken up in the court, a due process is followed, which has also been acknowledged by the international community. The same due course was taken in this case and the court has given a verdict."

Pakistan Foreign Secretary invited members of diplomatic corps to the Foreign Office and briefed them on the "historic injustice done to the 44 Pakistanis killed in the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack in 2007 in India," according to The Express Tribune.

A special National Investigation Agency court had acquitted the four suspects - Swami Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary - in the case on March 20.

"Pakistan has already registered a strong demarche with the Indian High Commissioner on March 20 against the acquittal of the perpetrators of Samjhauta terror attacks," the Foreign Secretary said.

Newsbeep

On February 18, 2007, explosions hit the India-Pakistan trans-border Samjhauta Express in Panipat area of Haryana and 68 people died in the blast, including 44 Pakistanis.

Among the dead were 33 men, 19 women and 16 children. Later two unexploded bombs were also found from the site, India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) had said.

The Indian side had earlier rejected Pakistan's remarks on the case verdict after its High Commissioner to Pakistan was summoned following the March 20 decision. It was put forth that due process of law was followed by the Indian courts and judicial system in a transparent manner, according to sources.

The High Commissioner had referred to the lack of cooperation from the Pakistan government, including in serving court summons to Pakistani witnesses in the Samjhauta blast case. The summons were not served and returned by Pakistan's Foreign Office, the sources said.

The High Commissioner had asked for an expeditious trial in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in which detailed evidence was given to Pakistan. He expressed disappointment that progress in these trials is held up and the perpetrators and prime accused continue to roam freely in Pakistan, they said.

He shared India's concerns over the lack of progress in investigations into the Pathankot airbase terror attack even when a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) visit was arranged to India and detailed evidence shared, they said.

Mr Kumar also said Pakistan is yet to take credible and irreversible steps against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and other terror entities and individuals, despite a detailed dossier having been shared after the Pulwama attack, the sources added.