Can't trust Pakistan, says Kalia's father

The father of the Indian soldier who was tortured and mutilated in the Kargil conflict has no hopes from the not so sympathetic Pakistan. “We pin our hopes only on the Supreme Court rather than on Pakistan,” N K Kalia, 64, said on Sunday.

Kalia’s comments came after visiting Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said it was not clear if a bullet or the weather had led to the death of Capt. Saurabh Kalia. The young Kalia’s mutilated body was handed over to the Indian authorities by Pakistani soldiers during the 1999 Kargil conflict.

Malik later said he would have the matter investigated in Pakistan. “His remark (on looking into the matter) is just a political gimmick,” said father Kalia, who retired as a senior scientist from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and lives here. “If he (Malik) is a man of words, we expect he will order a probe and bring to justice the perpetrators of the heinous crime,” Kalia added.

He was surprised over Malik’s remark that India had never taken up the issue with his government, Kalia said: “It’s a totally false assertion. I have gathered information through Right to Information (RTI) Act that the (Indian) government conveyed its anguish and anger to the foreign minister of Pakistan during his visit to Delhi June 12, 1999, but Malik’s feigning ignorance is shocking.”

He said the Indian foreign ministry handed an aide-memoire to Pakistan three days later. “I don’t think Pakistan will ever try the accused. For this we (India) have to build pressure on Pakistan through diplomatic channels, otherwise we do not hope that justice will be done,” he said.

The aggrieved father said no Pakistani official had ever tried to contact him since the incident occurred. “Pakistani functionaries say something and do something else. They also more influenced by internal politics rather than the plight of a father losing his son who did not even live long enough to receive his first pay packet,” an emotional Kalia added.

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