Pakistan summons Indian diplomat on Samjhauta blasts

Monday, January 10, 2011

NEW DELHI - Pakistan Monday summoned a senior Indian diplomat to ask for an update on the investigations into the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing that killed 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, in India.

The development comes in the wake of the questioning of a Hindu group leader, Swami Aseemanand, for his alleged involvement in the bombing of the train near Panipat in Haryana, 80 km from Delhi.

According to the Pakistan Foreign Office, Indian Deputy High Commissioner G.V. Srinivas was called to the ministry to ask for the latest information in the investigations.

An Indian weekly magazine Tehelka had reported on the confession of arrested Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Swami Aseemanand, which allegedly revealed the involvement of Hindu extremists in the Samjhauta Express bombing.

“It was reiterated to him that the government of Pakistan was awaiting the progress made by the government of India in the investigations into the Samjhauta Express blasts, said a statement by Pakistan Foreign Office.

“It was also underlined to Mr Srinivas that a response from the government of India may be conveyed at the earliest,” it added.

On the night of Feb 18, 2007, bomb blasts tore through two carriages of the Samjhauta Express as it travelled past Panipat towards Amritsar on way to the Pakistani border. Sixty-eight people were killed, most of them Pakistani citizens.

Pakistan could bring up the Samjhauta bomb blasts during the meeting of the Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries in Bhutan next month. They will be meeting on the sidelines of the meeting of the SAARC council of ministers.

The confession of Aseemanand was made before a magistrate on Dec 18 and is a legally admissible evidence.

He claimed that RSS national executive member Indresh Kumar and another Sangh member, Sunil Joshi (later murdered), had been the main masterminds behind the activities targeting Muslims at religious and other places in Malegaon, Ajmer and Hyderabad.

Aseemanand said that Joshi had been in charge of attacking the Samjhauta Express.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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