Pak calls for 'transparent' probe by India into boat incident

Pak calls for 'transparent' probe by India into boat incident

Pakistan today said it expects India to conduct a transparent probe to ascertain the facts of the boat incident while highlighting that its own investigation has shown that there was "no sound evidence" to substantiate India's assertions.

"On the so called terror boat incident, India has not approached Pakistan through diplomatic channels," Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters at her weekly media briefing.

Aslam said Pakistan had launched a probe into the matter to primarily ascertain if any Pakistani fishing boat is missing at sea but "there appears to be no sound evidence to substantiate the Indian allegations."

"There is a debate in India and questions are being raised about the claims and circumstance under which the people in the boat were targeted and boat was set on fire," Aslam said.

"We expect that there would be a transparent investigation by the Indian government to ascertain the facts of the incident and the circumstance in which the boat caught fire and some people got killed," she said.

Aslam also condemned alleged cross border firing by India and said "many precious lives have been lost" due to "Indian firing on the Line of Control and working boundary."

"Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes and flee to safety. Civilian population of Pakistan is more vulnerable because many villages are located in close proximity to the working boundary," she said.

In response to a question, Aslam also said Pakistan does not require a "certificate of approval from India" on counter-terrorism efforts. She said Pakistan is committed to countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

"Our armed forces are successfully conducting a comprehensive and across the board operation Zarb-e-Azab to root out terrorism. Our efforts and sacrifices are widely acknowledged by the international community although we do it first and foremost for our own sake," Aslam said.

She also rejected assertions that Pakistan was not willing to ease tensions and instead alleged that India triggered tension when it killed two of its soldiers.

"I can speak for Pakistan. We have done all we could. You are aware of the circumstances under which the two Rangers got martyred; they were given the impression that there would be a meeting," Aslam said.

She said Pakistan armed forces were busy in operation Zarb-e-Azb and cannot afford distractions in the midst of a very crucial counter-terrorism operation.

Any effort to create the perception or impression that Pakistan initiates these violations, creating or prolonging tension is "totally baseless", Aslam said.

She also confirmed that Foreign Office has received a letter from India's External Affairs Ministry in response to a letter by Pakistan.

"Yes, I can confirm that we received a response from India. We expect that India, instead of denying, would investigate the circumstance under which the two soldiers of Rangers were martyred, conduct a transparent inquiry and bring the responsible for this crime to justice," she said.

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