Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022

Pakistan Wants A Joint Investigation

Sheikh Rashid blames the Indian Railways, while confusion prevails over identification of dead bodies, confounded by Pakistan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar telling the Pakistan National Assembly that of the 68 dead, 22 are Pa



Calling for a joint probe into the deadly blasts in Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express, the Pakistan National Assembly today passed a resolution terming the attack an "act of terrorism" and asked the government to make arrangements to bring home the bodies of the victims.

The unanimously-adopted government-sponsored resolution called for the formation of a joint Pak-India investigating team to probe the blasts in which 68 people were killed.

The joint investigation proposal was initially mooted by Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid who in his speech in the Assembly earlier accused the Indian Railways of not cooperating with its Pakistani counterpart in exchanging information of the dead and the injured.

Indian officials have not yet provided the correct details, he said.

The resolution expressed the hope that India will provide timely assistance to the victims and demanded immediate and impartial inquiry into the act of terrorism.

Read out by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan, the resolution expressed heartfelt sympathies with the injured and the families of those who lost their lives in the incident and said it had saddened every Pakistani.

It called upon the government of Pakistan to facilitate the heirs of the victims who want to travel to India and ensure that the dead and the injured are brought back immediately. "The affected families should immediately be given adequate compensation," Afgan said.

He also called for ensuring safe journey both in India and Pakistan for which the railway ministries of the two countries should take appropriate steps.

The resolution said the house should be taken into confidence on foreign policy issues in the context of bilateral relations.

While Rashid criticised Indian Railways of not providing information, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar told the Assembly that of the 68 passengers killed, 49 have been identified.

Those identified included 22 Pakistani nationals and 27 Indian nationals he said forwarding the details provided by the Indian government.

Bhaktiar said the rest of the 19 bodies which are charred beyond recognition would have to be identified through DNA tests of their relatives.

He said the Indian authorities have also detained one person on charges of involvement in to the incident.

Terming the blasts an attempt by "anti-Pakistan" elements opposed to the restoration of lasting peace in the region, Bhaktiar said the government would seek details of the probe from India during next month's joint anti-terror mechanism meeting.

"It was the attempt of those elements who were not only anti-Pakistan but they were against the restoration of lasting peace in the region. People and government from both sides have resolve not to let succeed such forces, which have been bidding to sabotage the on-going peace process through such ghastly acts," he said.

The Minister said one of the victims was earlier identified as Muhammad Shafiq while 10 of the injured were in critical state and doctors have advised not to move them for 56 hours.

He said India had requested Pakistan for opening of a Visa Office at Wagah Border on Temporary basis and the same was accorded immediately.

Indian officials said 40 visas have been issued already for relatives of the injured and the dead to visit Panipat and New Delhi. The visitors who were permitted to cross through Wagah on foot were also provided with transport and accommodation.

For more updates and statements by visiting Pakistan foreign minister, please click here