December 8, 2008
Pakistan Friday night asserted that the threatening call to its President Zardari on November 28 was put out from “a verified official Phone Number of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs” and blamed the Indian High Commission in Islamabad for trying to paint it as a hoax call.
“The identity of this particular call, as evident from the CLI (caller identity) device, showed that the call was placed from a verified official Phone Number of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs”, Pakistan Information and Broadcasting Minister Sherry Rehman claimed in a written statement issued in Islamabad and also circulated in Delhi.
She also blamed indirectly an Indian High Commission official for planting a report in the Pakistani media that it was a hoax call and condemned “efforts aimed at using media for negative diplomacy at a time when tensions are running high between Indian and Pakistan.” According to her, the report in Pakistani English daily ‘Dawn’ that some imposter called up Zardari, posing himself to be External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was “based on a briefing given to a few journalists by a responsible senior official of a neighbouring country based in Islamabad.”
Pointing out that all calls received in the Presidency are processed in accordance with an intricately laid down procedure and as such “it is not possible for any call to come through to the President without multiple caller identity verifications,” she said the call under reference too was “processed, verified and crosschecked under the same procedure.”
Won’t Send Officials: Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has decided against sending representatives of key institutions, including the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, to India until New Delhi provides concrete evidence of their involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks, a news agency reported.
The decision came during a meeting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani chaired with the country’s top civil and military leadership on Saturday.
During the meeting, Gilani said that Pakistan was ready to unconditionally cooperate in the probe into the Mumbai attacks but India still had not responded positively to the offer.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha were among those who attended the meeting, held at the Prime Minster House.
According to reliable sources, Kayani and Pasha apprised the leadership about the security situation in the wake of the Mumbai attacks and the international reaction to this.
Gilani further stated that Pakistan did not have any aggressive designs against any country and wanted cordial and friendly relations with all countries, including India. The levelling of baseless allegations of Islamabad’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks must stop, he added.
According to sources, the Prime Minister said that the government would defend every inch of the country’s soil and those who cast an evil eye on Pakistan would face an appropriate response.
The meeting also decided to deal with anti-state elements with an iron hand and to further strengthen country’s defence, the agency said.
This article was posted: Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:44 am