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Post-Russia, hiccups mar India-Pakistan ties

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  14 July 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Islamabad/New Delhi, July 13: In what appeared to be a speed-breaker in India-Pakistan ties, a top Pakistani official on Monday said the Mumbai terror attack trial can be expedited only if New Delhi cooperates.

Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister waz Sharif's key advisor on tiol security and foreign affairs, also said that no dialogue process will take place with India unless Kashmir was discussed.

This comes three days after India and Pakistan issued a joint statement condemning terrorism and deciding to expedite the trial of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack -- after Prime Ministers rendra Modi and waz Sharif met on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Ufa, Russia.

While the Indian government did not react until evening to Aziz's comments, the BJP, which had hailed the Modi-Sharif talks, downplayed the statement, saying it was meant for the domestic audience.

Aziz told the media in Islamabad that "additiol information" was required to expedite the trial of the Pakistanis accused of plotting the attack that left 166 Indians and foreigners dead in Mumbai.

At Ufa, the Indian side reportedly sought the voice sample of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind behind the Mumbai terror attack who is out on bail in Pakistan.

At the meeting with Modi, Sharif too sought information on the progress of the Samjhauta Express blast trial in India that left many Pakistanis dead, Aziz said.

The Pakistani media quoted Aziz as saying that the Ufa meeting was held on the request of Modi. He underlined that it was an informal discussion - and the "not the formal start of a dialogue process".

No dialogue process will take place with India unless the Kashmir issue was included, he added.

"Sharif raised concerns on all issues (with Modi), including India's alleged interference in the interl matters of Pakistan, particularly its continuing support for insurgency in Balochistan," Aziz said.

The joint statement issued after the Modi-Sharif meeting steered clear of the Kashmir issue. It was the first bilateral talks after a year.

Bharatiya Jata Party spokespersons appeared reluctant to comment on the latest development.

But former home secretary R.K. Singh, now a BJP MP, said Aziz's statement was meant for the domestic audience.

"This statement is addressed to their (Pakistan) domestic audience, it defies all logic," he said.

"(Pakistani spy agency) ISI knows that if a proper investigation is done in the Mumbai attack, then many of its officers will be indicted," he added.

Singh also said that India had given enough evidences to Pakistan on the Mumbai terror attack.

The Congress used the opportunity to target the BJP.

Said Congress leader Ajay Maken: "We always said that there is no breakthrough as such."

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: "Ufffff, Ufa is already unravelling. That was quick even by Indo-Pak standards." IANS

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