28 Pak Militants Get Consular Access25 March 2010
Jammu: Government Thursday said the consular access of 28 Pakistani militants including the one allegedly involved in 1995 serial blasts on M A Stadium Jammu, was facilitated by the State as part of Union External Affairs ministry’s programme of prisoners’ exchange with Pakistan. “It is as per the directions of Union External Affairs ministry’s that we have facilitated the consular access to 28 Pakistani militants. This is being done as per the prisoners exchange programme between India and Pakistan,” Law and Parliamentary affairs minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar told Assembly. The consular access to 28 Pakistani militants has been fixed at Central Jail, Amritsar on March 26. The militants were already taken out of the different jails of Jammu and Srinagar and taken to Amritsar. Of the 28 detainees, 10 were under-trials and cases were pending against them in different courts. The MA Stadium blast accused Ghulam Nabi alias Nikka son of Fazal Din of Putwal, Sialkote, Pakistan, is among the under-trials. Others were undergoing conviction after being sentenced by the courts while none of them has completed the term so far. As per the government, the Pakistan officials from External Affairs Ministry will cross over to Indian side from Wagah border in Amritsar district of Punjab on March 26 morning and hold consular access to militants to confirm identity of their nationals before repatriation. As per the consular programme, all those, who will be confirmed as their citizens by Pakistani officials, will be released. They would be repatriated from Wagah border in Amritsar district. As Sagar clarified the government’s stand on the issue, BJP, JKNPP and JSM legislators protested the move and staged walkout from the House. Meanwhile, DGP Kuldeep Khoda said that the consular access to militants was aimed at exposing the role of Pakistan in militant activities in Kashmir. “Consular access to militants is done to let Pakistani officials identify their citizens. This way the role of Pakistan in terrorism activities in Kashmir will be proved,” Khoda said while addressing media persons at PHQ here. He said the consular access could not be confused as being the safe passage of militants to Pakistan. “There is nothing like safe passage to militants. We are committed in our fight against terrorism,” DGP said.