India denies receiving Baloch dossier; Islamabad evasive
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Last Updated: Friday, July 24, 2009, 00:27
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: India on Thursday flatly denied having received any dossier from Pakistan about its alleged involvement in terrorist acts there slamming Pakistani media reports in this regard as "entirely wrong" even as Islamabad remained evasive on the matter.

"No such dossier was given in Egypt...It is entirely wrong," Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said in New Delhi.

"It was only mentioned that Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani voiced some concern that the PM said that he had no problem in addressing, since we had everything in an open book. And we certainly have not been doing anything (there)," she told reporters.

Sources in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said, "We have not received any such dossier," a day after media reports in Pakistan claimed that a dossier was given to India on its alleged involvement in terrorist acts including one on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore as well as in the unrest in the south-western province of Balochistan.

The Dawn, a leading Pakistani English daily, had yesterday claimed that Islamabad has handed over to New Delhi a dossier containing "comprehensive evidence" of Indian involvement in several terrorist acts on its soil, including the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March.

The daily stood by its report today.

The dossier with proof of "India's involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan" was handed over by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh during their recent meeting at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the newspaper claimed quoting sources as saying.

An Indian High Commission official has also, yesterday, said that the only information provided by Pakistan in the meeting between the two Prime Ministers was on its dossier on Mumbai attacks which included reference to the five LeT people, who are undergoing trial in Pakistan, and 13 other suspects declared as proclaimed offenders.

Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor described the charges as "preposterous" and said "it is not wise for us to react to media reports.

"I have not seen the dossier myself. If there is the dossier, then I am sure that the competent colleagues in my ministry are looking at it and when they have studied it, we will have a suitable response," he said.

"But we don't believe that deflecting responsibilities for things that are happening in the disfunctioning of the state to their neighbours who have conducted themselves very differently is a very healthy practice," he said.

In Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit did not confirm or deny the media reports saying the issue involved intelligence matters which cannot be discussed in public.

Basit evaded several pointed questions on the matter saying only that Pakistan's position was amply reflected by the Joint Statement.

"All I can say is that whatever was discussed and handed over is contained in the Joint Statement," Basit told a weekly news briefing, responding to a question on whether Gilani had handed over to Singh a dossier on India's alleged involvement in unrest in Balochistan

The issue involved intelligence matters and Pakistan does not discuss such issues in public as a matter of policy, he said.

Asked about the issue, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in Phuket where he is attending a ASEAN meeting that if there are any unwanted problems being created in Balochistan Pakistan has "tabled" them in the spirit of solving them.

"It is important for us to make Balochistan stable. It is an important area for us. Pakistan is concerned about Balochistan. We only want to solve issues, not complicate them," Qureshi added.

First Published: Friday, July 24, 2009, 00:27

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