Stop 'blame-game': Pakistan tells India

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Colombo, Aug 3: End blame game on 'terror attacks' is what Pakistan asked India rejecting allegations that ISI was involved in the suicide bomb blast at the Indian embassy in Kabul and stating that such ''baseless accusations'' served no purpose other than vitiating bilateral atmosphere.

''It is important that the blame-game is avoided...We believe in carrying out investigations before laying responsibility and have never pointed fingers at anyone in bombing incidents in Pakistan.'' Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said in a interview with the weekly 'The Sunday Leader'. He said Pakistan felt that such incidents call for strengthening cooperation in the fight against terrorism at the regional level too.Mr Gilani, who held a detailed bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here last evening on the sidelines of the SAARC summit, said the Indian government's allegations were not only ''surprising but shocking too.'' The Pakistan Prime Minister had assured Dr Singh on Saturday, Aug 2 that he would hold an independent investigation into the fidayeen attack on the Indian Mission.

He said Pakistan had condemned the Kabul incident in the strongest possible terms.

''Against this background, the Indian statement is not only surprising but shocking. There were also bombing incidents in Pakistan subsequently but we have not pointed fingers at anyone as we believe in carrying out investigation before laying the responsibility. It is important that blame-game is avoided as both countries have institutionalised counter-terrorism mechanism which is working satisfactorily,'' Mr Gilani said Pakistan is against terrorism in all its forms and manifestions, as the scourge negates the very essence of human values.

He said Pakistan had signed and ratified the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism.

''We stand ready to fulfil our obligations in this regard and hope to see similar commitments from other countries of South Asia,'' he added.

On India's concern about military ties with Sri Lanka, Mr Gilani said Pakistan's relations with the island nation were based on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in each other's internal matters. This time-tested relationship was free from outside interfernce, he said.


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