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Samjhauta victim speaks his mind

Source: PTI
February 24, 2007 23:34 IST
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Rana Shaukat Ali, who reached Pakistan on Saturday with the bodies of his 5 children killed in the Samjhauta Express blasts in India, has criticised the media for pursuing him for stories.

He also said he was shown sketches of suspects by Indian officials but had refused to identify them as Pakistanis as he did not want to his country's name.

Ali, who was received by his kin and Pakistani officials, said, "The Indian officials showed me sketches and photographs. When what was shown was not what I had seen, why should I tell a lie? They wanted me to confirm and (say) if he is a Pakistani, (but) why should I spoil the name of my country?"

Earlier, at Panipat in India where he had gone to identify the bodies of his children, he said, "I am being treated here as if I know everything about the incident and the media is after me. Even as I speak to you, a number of journalists are outside the Pakistan High Commission's temporary office here for my trial."

On reaching Islamabad, he said, "They want stories for their publications at a time when I am not in my senses because of the death of my five children."

Ali, who reached the Wagah border post last night with his wife Rukhsana and one-year-old daughter Aksa to cross over to Pakistan, said he was not prevented from travelling by Indian authorities.

Along with his relatives, Ali took the bodies of his children to his native town in Faisalabad for burial. He said the Indian government would pay him Rs100,000 as compensation for each of the dead children.

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