MEA summons Pakistan diplomat after Islamabad expresses concern over Swami Aseemanand’s acquittal
Pakistan Foreign Office said the accused in the Samjhauta Express blast case had ‘publicly confessed’ to being behind it.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah, expressing concern over the ongoing ceasefire violations by Pakistan at the Line of Control and International Border, The Times of India reported. This came a day after India’s Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh was summoned in Islamabad, against Swami Aseemanand’s acquittal in Ajmer Dargah blast case.
“The government registered its strong protest at the fatal casualty of an Indian soldier in unprovoked firing by Pakistan forces on March 9, 2017,” the MEA said in a statement. A soldier in the Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch had died on March 9 during cross-border firing.
On Friday, the Pakistan Foreign Office had released a statement saying Singh had been summoned to express concern over Aseemanand’s acquittal in the Ajmer Dargah blast case. The statement said Aseemanand had “publicly confessed” to being the mastermind behind the 2007 attack on the Samjhauta Express that killed 68 people, PTI reported.
The statement also said Aseemanand had identified a serving Indian Army officer, Lt Colonel Purohit, as his “accomplice” in the Samjhauta Express blast case. Forty-two of those killed were Pakistani citizens, the statement said. “The Government of Pakistan expects India to take steps to bring to justice all those involved in the heinous act of Samjhauta Express terrorist attack,” the statement read.
On March 8, a special court of the National Investigation Agency had acquitted former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist Aseemanand and six others in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case. NIA special judge Dinesh Gupta had found three other accused in the case – Sunil Joshi, Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta – guilty in the bombing.
On October 11, 2007, a timed-bomb had ripped through the dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, killing three people and injuring at least 17.