Saturday, February 24, 2007

India clears the air about Pakistani aircraft delay

New Delhi/Islamabad: Forget conspiracy theories, it was just a technical glitch. So said India Friday as it cleared the air about the 'mysterious' delay in the takeoff of the Pakistani aircraft Thursday night carrying back the seven injured people in the train blasts, even as it asked Islamabad to give access to the survivors to probe the explosions.
'Some media reports suggest that the aircraft was delayed because India wanted an undertaking from Pakistani authorities for access to the evacuated Pakistani passengers for interrogation. This request had been made to Pakistani authorities while conveying the clearance for the aircraft,' external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna said in a statement.
'We drew the attention of the Pakistani authorities to the fact that the terrorist attack on the train is being investigated by Indian police who may wish to take their statements at a later date,' he added.
'It is our hope that the government of Pakistan will facilitate this in the interest of the investigations,' he said.
Sarna, however, clarified that the release of the injured passengers was 'not linked to this nor their evacuation delayed because of it,' he said while referring to nearly six hours a C-130 transport aircraft of Pakistan Air Force had to wait before it could take off at 9.15 p.m.
23/02/07 RxPG NEWS, US
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