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Rehman Malik assures probe into Kalia torture

Posted on Dec 15, 02:40PM | IBNS

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik Saturday said India never raised "till yesterday" with his country the issue of torture of Captain Saurabh Kalia who was killed in the 1999 Kargil War, but assured an investigation into the matter.

"This incident happened 15 years back in Kargil. It was never raised with the Government of Pakistan. It was never on agenda," said Malik in an interview to NDTV aired on Saturday.

Malik said media cannot set the agenda of talks between India and Pakistan by raising this issue and such stumbling blocks should not come.

"Please create positivity. Be a stakeholder," he urged media.

Malik, who is on a three day official visit to India and operationalized a more liberal visa regime, reacting to questions by reporters said on Friday: "When the war is going on, on the border we don't exactly know what happened - whether he was killed by a Pakistani bullet of it was the weather."

The reaction of denial by Malik triggered anger in India with the father of the tortured and killed Kargil martyr seeking justice for torture of his son in Pakistan custody in violation of international laws.

Malik on the TV interview said he fully sympathises with the father of Captain Kalia who lost his young son.

"I will have it investigated," he said.

Defending his country, Malik said: "If he was tortured how could you expect that we would return the body knowing fully that there would be a post-mortem."

He said the two countries should forget the past and bring interfaith harmony.

On Friday, the Indian Supreme Court issued a notice to Centre on a plea by Kargil martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia's father NK Kalia, asking it whether it is going to take the case of the martyr to the International Court of Justice at Hague.

Demanding justice for his son, NK Kalia earlier filed a petition at the UN Human Rights Commission.

The apex court gave 10 weeks' time to the Centre to give its reply to NK Kalia's petition, reports said.

Captain Kalia's father earlier moved Supreme Court seeking its direction to the Union Government to take up his son's case at the International Court of Justice.

Army Chief General Bikram Singh last month said Kargil martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia was a 'brave soldier' and expressed support towards his parents.

Captain Kalia, of the 4 Jat Regiment, was the first army officer to report the incursion by the Pakistani Army on Indian soil and was one of the five soldiers taken captive by Pakistani troops in May 1999.

The army men were tortured for weeks before being killed and the mutilated bodies were handed over to the Indian authorities later.