Pakistan`s new High Commissioner to Sri Lanka yesterday dismissed his predecessor`s allegation that an Indian intelligence agency was behind the attack on the latter in Colombo.
?The Government of Pakistan never made such a statement. I do not know why local media gave huge publicity to it,? High Commissioner Shahzad Chaudhry told an informal gathering of media personnel yesterday.
He was referring to former High Commissioner Bashir Wali Mohammed`s allegation in a magazine interview that the Indian agency RAW was behind the claymore bomb attack on him at Kollupitiya in August.
Mr. Chaudhry said Pakistan will leave it to Sri Lanka to investigate and come up with a judgment regarding the incident.
Sitting in his new office in Colombo, a relaxed high commissioner said: ?It is not right to for us to get involved in the investigations.?
Responding to media reports that Pakistan had become a target of the LTTE due to its military support to Sri Lanka, he said he would term it as a `military relationship` between the two countries, rather than military support.
?When you say military support, it narrows a much wider relationship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka,? he said adding that the relationship includes military training, providing expertise, etc.
Asked whether he denied that Pakistan was providing weapons to Sri Lanka, he said Pakistan was no expert on weapons and has only basic indigenous capabilities.
Leaving the supply of weapons aside, the military relationship between the two countries was much older than the ethnic conflict here, he said.
?If Sri Lanka needs weapons, Pakistan will be one of the respondents. There are many others too,? he said.
Only six weeks into his new job here, the high commissioner - - a retired Air Vice Marshal - -sounded determined to take bilateral ties to greater heights.
Among them is the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries which he said is yet to get going.
Saying that the FTA between Sri Lanka and India has proved beneficial to both countries he said similarly he would create greater awareness among Pakistan entrepreneurs on its benefits.
Mr. Chaudhry said there was a lot in common between Sri Lanka and Pakistan hence he was determined to increase people-to-people contact promoting the beauty of Sri Lanka and the history of Pakistan.
Commenting on the recently concluded talks in Geneva between the Government and the LTTE, he expressed the hope that the two parties would meet again soon at the negotiating table.- PR