Pakistan refutes 'terror boat' allegations
Dismissing allegations of any Pakistani 'terror boat' being involved in an incident with Indian authorities as a "drama", Pakistan on Friday said the episode was "shrouded in mystery" from the beginning.
Islamabad: Dismissing allegations of any Pakistani 'terror boat' being involved in an incident with Indian authorities as a "drama", Pakistan on Friday said the episode was "shrouded in mystery" from the beginning.
"Yes we have seen the media reports. Having remained shrouded in mystery since day one, the drama of the so-called 'terror boat' is now unfolding," said Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam.
"As we had mentioned earlier, our authorities conducted their own investigations in the wake of Indian media reports. These investigations concluded that neither any Pakistani boat was missing nor is there any evidence so far to suggest that it was a Pakistani boat.
"The latest Indian media reports actually confirmed our findings. We have noted the statements, their retractions, confusion and controversies that this trigger happy episode has created in India," she said.
On the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, a suspicious fishing boat carrying explosives from Pakistan was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard in the Arabian Sea near the Indo-Pak maritime boundary.
An intelligence-based midnight operation was conducted by the Coast Guard ships and aircraft to intercept the suspect fishing boat, about 365 kms off Porbander in Gujarat, resulting in a hot pursuit, however the vessel sank after the crew on board set it on fire.
"Pakistan believes that the issues and disputes between Pakistan and India need to be resolved through dialogue for peace, stability and prosperity in the region. We have never shied away from engaging India," Aslam said.
She also demanded that India share with Pakistan the results of investigations into the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing that killed 68 people, mostly Pakistanis.
"Outcome of the investigations into Samjhauta Express terrorist attack has not been shared with Pakistan, despite assurances at the highest political level. There has been no progress reported in the investigations, let alone trial.
"We are concerned at the lack of progress in the investigations despite a lapse of over eight years. We are also deeply concerned at the grant of bail to Swami Aseemanand, the perpetrator and main witness who identified others who were involved in this terrorist attack including serving Indian Army officer, Col (Shrikant) Purohit, and other personnel.
"On the anniversary of the incident, we reiterate our demand that the government of India expeditiously conclude the investigations and punish the perpetrators," she said.
The bombing occurred at midnight on February 18, 2007 on the train service connecting Delhi and Lahore.