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Khurshid welcomes Chisti`s acquittal

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court`s verdict to acquit Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chisti.

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court`s verdict to acquit Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chisti, and expressed hope that it would promote goodwill between New Delhi and Islamabad.

"The Supreme Court is the last court of appeal in our country. And I haven`t looked at the facts of this case very closely, but I have read the judgements. Now, when the final judgements have been pronounced by the Supreme Court, I think we should welcome it. It`s not only something which fits in with our humanitarian approach, but also it`s a clear indication of rule of law in our country," Khurshid told media persons outside Parliament here.

"We have to be pleased with the final judgement, whether it is a judgement that convicts or a judgement that acquits, I think we have to salute the system, that the system is objective, fair, transparent and effective," he added.

When asked whether the move is going to promote goodwill between India and Pakistan, Khurshid said ``there are little gestures voluntarily or involuntarily that can contribute to the sense between our two countries``.

"Sometimes, something happens we have no control over which causes perhaps divergence of views. Sometimes things happen again that we have no control over, but we welcome them because the impact of those things is a wholesome impact, positive impact," said Khurshid.

"I hope that this is appreciated on both sides equally and when something happens it can contribute to wholesome growth of a friendly relationship. I think we should make the most of it," he added.

The apex court in its judgement earlier today said the prison sentence of one year and four months that Dr Chisti had already undergone was sufficient to meet the ends of justice and was free to return to his country without any restrictions.

Dr Chisti was held guilty in a 20-year-old criminal case, and had been serving life term.

Earlier in May 2012, the Supreme Court had allowed him to visit Pakistan temporarily, but asked him to report back to it by November 1 this year.

The apex court had also asked Dr Chisti to deposit a surety sum of Rs 5 lakh with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.


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