The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pervez blames riots

Islamabad, Sept. 27 (PTI): Rejecting charges of Pakistan’s involvement in the strike on Swaminarayan temple, President Pervez Musharraf today said the terrorist attack was a fallout of the riots in Gujarat and hinted at an Indian role in the killing of seven Christians in Karachi.

“This is totally a misperception. They (India) should not blame us because what is happening in Gujarat is the fallout of the killing of thousands of Muslims there,” Musharraf said.

India had yesterday said it saw a particular “pattern” and harboured suspicions of “external” involvement in the temple attack but stopped short of directly accusing Pakistan.

“We are confident that we will be able to unearth the evidence,” said an external affairs ministry spokesperson. “But there has been a history of Pakistan’s involvement in the past in all such terrorist acts.”

India should put its own house in order instead of slinging mud on and blaming Pakistan, he said. “Their internal affairs are not in order, which needs to be corrected,” he said at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the National Monument.

The President alleged the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, could be involved in the Karachi incident in which two gunmen burst into the office of a Christian charity on Wednesday, killing seven persons.

“There can be a possibility. But we do not act like them...Unless we have proof,” Musharraf said. The case is being investigated, he added. “I could not say who, it could be al Qaida, it could be any sectarian extremists within or foreign element or RAW. We are examining.”

The Pakistani President, however, ruled out possibilities of a war with India. “There is no danger of war. But we are prepared for everything.”

Union minister of state for home I.D. Swamy had said India was keeping “all options open”, including war, to end cross-border terrorism.

No arrests have been made following the Karachi massacre.

Expressing surprise at the recurring attacks on Christians in Pakistan, Musharraf (picture above) said: “It will be madness if any Muslim thinks that it is a way of promoting Islam, that he should start killing Christians. Allah will never pardon this.”

Last night, he directed the authorities in Karachi to speed up efforts to nab the culprits involved in the “gruesome” killings.

Musharraf said some elements were trying to “defame and malign Pakistan”. Such “inhuman acts” have harmed Pakistan’s image, he said.

“Such ghastly tactics must never succeed,” he added.

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