New Delhi, July 21 : Visiting Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir on Monday rejected the Indian Government's charge that Pakistani intelligence agencies had a role to play in perpetrating the July 7 suicide bomb blast at the Indian embassy in Kabul that claimed the lives of 41 people, including that of a diplomat and an army brigadier.
Addressing a press conference at the Pakistan High Commission here this evening, Bashir said Pakistan had no role to play in the incident or on any another incident of terror on Indian soil in the recent past, as was being projected by Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon.
He told mediapersons after the fifth round of composite dialogue between the foreign secretaries of the two countries on confidence-building measures to counter terrorism and the Kashmir issue that there was no question of Pakistan being behind any terror attack on Indian soil.
He also rejected Menon's contention that the bilateral peace process was under stress, maintaining that it was on track, and that New Delhi should refrain from indulging in the blame game.
He said that Islamabad could not accept New Delhi's contention that it was behind the terror strikes without proof of evidence of the same.
"Allegations made by the Indian National Ssecurity Adviser (M.K.Narayanan) are baseless and has been the cause of Pakistan's disquiet," Bashir said.
He was responding to National Security Adviser, M K Narayanan statement on July 13 that said: "We not only suspect, but we have a fair amount of intelligence (on the involvement of Pakistan). In fact, intelligence intercepts have been very specific on the ISI involvement. Even now, there is fresh intelligence about threats to India's missions in Mazar-e-Sharif and Jalalabad.
Narayanan was also quoted as saying that such acts of terror need retaliation. "I think we need to pay back in the same coin. We are quite clear in our mind," he had said.
Bashir said that Pakistan should not be taken lightly as it is engaged in a fight against terror with various nations and is using various mechanisms to achieve success on this score.
Despite the heated exchange of words on the Kabul blast , both countries today took significant decisons on confidence-building measures with regard to Kashmir.
They have decided to introduce triple entry visas for cross border vistors from October 1 and to speed up the process of visas by introducing them in single form. It was also decided that the frequency of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service would be increased from a fortnightly bus service to a weekly service from August 21 and from August 25, the bus service Poonch (in India) to Rawalkote (in Pakistan) would become a weekly one. By Naveen Kapoor