Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

'Replete With Falsehood'

The MEA spokesperson on the Akshardham attack and Pakistani charges, and on the visit of Christina Rocca. September 27, 2002.

The Akshardham temple attackers have been identified. Anything on that? 

All that I would like to say is that valuable clues regarding who was responsible for these attacks have been unearthed by the agencies and they are confident that they will be able to resolve this case quickly and I am sure details will be available once these investigations are complete. I have no further information on this. Valuable clues have been found and we are optimistic that we will be able to come to a definitive conclusion about who is responsible for this dastardly crime very soon. But this is an ongoing investigation and it is necessary for us to obviously protect our sources and not divulge more information than what is necessary at this moment.
General Musharraf has said that India was responsible for the attack on the churches in Karachi?
I have said and I say it again that every statement that Pakistan makes on this issue is replete with falsehood from beginning to end and nobody would attach any credibility to what Pakistan says on this issue.
Reports that Malaysian press that the subject of visa on arrival was discussed during Mr. Sinha's visit….
Well, consular issues were discussed. I do not have the Joint Statement issued at the end of the meeting. I would need to check that for you. But I understand that consular issues were discussed. We did mention that we would like to see a less restrictive regime in so far as visas for Indian Nationals are concerned. We also seek the cooperation of the Malaysian Government in safeguarding the interest of Indian workers in Malaysia. These two issues were discussed.
Meeting between Foreign Secretary and Ms. Rocca?
Yes, it's going on. 
Ms. Rocca has extended her visit for two days?
She was to meet the Foreign Secretary today. It was planned that she would meet the Foreign Secretary. It was planned earlier.
(The following details regarding Foreign Secretary's meeting with Assistant Secretary Rocca are given below, since they were made available after the spokesperson's briefing):

The Foreign Secretary, Shri Kanwal Sibal, and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Christina Rocca,  held extensive discussions today on a number of issues. Ms. Rocca is in India in connection with the dialogue between India and the United States on the regional situation. The dialogue was instituted pursuant to the decision of the leaderships of both countries to broaden the intensity and range of the bilateral dialogue between India and the U.S.  The discussions this afternoon lasted about one hour and forty five minutes and covered several issues, principally the situation in Afghanistan and India-Pakistan relations. Foreign Secretary had visited Afghanistan yesterday and met President Hamid Karzai, Vice President and Defence Minister Fahim, and the Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah. Foreign Secretary briefed Ms. Rocca on his impressions of his visit to Afghanistan. Asst. Secy Rocca also outlined the thrust of U.S. policies towards Afghanistan. The discussion was marked by openness and both sides found the interaction useful.

On the larger question of India-Pakistan relations, keeping in mind the ongoing elections in Jammu and Kashmir, a detailed exchange of views took place. It was pointed out that continuing support to terrorism by Pakistan would remain an obstacle to any resumption of dialogue. In this context, the recent terrorist attack at Gandhinagar was a matter of serious concern. 

Assistant Secretary Rocca was accompanied by Mr. Robert Blackwill,  Ambassador of the United States to India. Present on the Indian side, in addition to Foreign Secretary Sibal, was Jayant Prasad, Joint Secretary (United States and Canada) in the Ministry of External Affairs.