Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday denied he had equated the demolition of the Babri Masjid with terror attacks, and offered an assurance that he would get the death of Kargil martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia investigated.
Explaining comments he made after landing in New Delhi Friday evening, which were widely reported by the Indian media, Malik told NDTV news channel that he “had never compared” terror attacks with the Dec 6, 1992 mosque demolition.
“I am here with a message of love and peace, and both countries are working on a roadmap of peace and love, there is no option,” the Pakistani interior minister told the news channel.
“When I spoke of Babri, I never compared it with terror acts,” he said, adding: “What I said is that we do not want ugly incidents… Never made such a comparison,” Malik said.
Malik had said Friday: “Terrorism brings grief, we do not want a 9/11, Bombay blast, Samjhauta Express blast, Babri Mosque demolition.”
On his remarks on Kalia, Malik said: “My full sympathies are with the family… Since the matter concerns the ministry of defence, I will take the information and have it investigated… The cause of death is not yet determined. If he was tortured, how could you expect that we would give such a body (back), knowing the reaction it would elicit.”
He also said that India had “never raised with Pakistan in any way” the issue of Kalia’s death and it was not part of his agenda in India this time.
He accused the media of creating the agenda for the India-Pakistan talks, terming it “not fair”.
Clarifying his remarks Friday on Kalia that were interpreted as dismissive, Malik said he had been “totally misquoted” and that he did not know “too much of the incident”.
“I am not a master computer,” Malik said.
Capt Saurabh Kalia’s mutilated and tortured body had been handed over to India after the 1999 Kargil conflict. Kalia’s father has taken his son’s torture-killing to the Supreme Court, saying Pakistan should be told to apologise. He has also approached the UN Human Rights Commission asking it to probe his son’s death as a war crime.
Asked about it, Malik had said Friday: “When a fight is going on at the border, we really don’t know whether he was killed with a Pakistani bullet or he died because of the weather.”