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'Protecting hindu terrorists': Pak summons Indian envoy to protest Samjhauta verdict

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Islamabad, Mar 20: Pakistan on Wednesday summoned the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad to protest against the acquittal of all four accused in Samjhauta Express terror attack case.

Swami Aseemanand

Pakistan's Acting Foreign Secretary summoned Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria today to lodge Pakistan's strong protest, the Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.

"Pakistan had consistently raised the "lack of progress and the subsequent, concerted attempts by India to exonerate the perpetrators of this heinous terrorist act in which 44 innocent Pakistanis lost their lives, the statement said.

Samjautha express blast: Pak woman's plea to examine witnesses rejected

"The issue was raised repeatedly, including at the sidelines of the Senior Officials, Heart of Asia Meeting in 2016. Formal demarches were also lodged regularly with India on the lack of progress and acquittal of the accused in other cases," Pakistan said in a statement on Wednesday.

The acquittal, Pakistan said, "makes a travesty of justice and exposes the sham credibility of the Indian courts and belies the rampant Indian duplicity and hypocrisy where India reflexively levels allegations of terrorism against Pakistan, while protecting with impunity, terrorists who had publicly confessed to their odious crimes."

The Pakistani government has further accused India of being insensitive to the plight of the 44 families of the deceased Pakistanis and alleged that the verdict was reflective of "Indian state policy of promoting and protecting Hindu terrorists."

A special court in Panchkula in Haryana acquitted Aseemanand and three others in the case.

The verdict came after NIA special judge Jagdeep Singh dismissed the plea filed by a Pakistani woman for examining eyewitnesses from her country, saying it was "devoid of any merit".

The blast in Samjhauta Express took place near Panipat in Haryana on February 18, 2007, when the train was on its way to Attari in Amritsar, the last railway station on the Indian side.

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