ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office questioned on Thursday India’s ability to investigate the alleged attempt to smuggle narcotics under the guise of cross-LoC trade and insisted on the innocence of the arrested truck driver.

“Who is in a better position to investigate that? The authority is here in Pakistan,” FO Spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said at the weekly media briefing.

The cross-LoC trade has been suspended for almost a fortnight following arrest of a Pakistani driver and impounding of the truck he drove on the allegation of smuggling narcotics. Pakistan has all along insisted on the return of the truck driver, who they believe was “unaware” of the presence of narcotics, if any, on the truck.

The Pakistani argument is that the driver when handed back may help uncover the group that could have loaded the narcotics on the truck, if at all they were there.

“Our view is that the driver ... may be innocent. Even if there were drugs on the truck he may not be aware of it. We would be interested that if at all it happened it should not be repeated and for that we also need to conduct investigations on our side and if the possibility is that some people other than the driver were involved, who is in a better position to investigate that?” Ms Aslam remarked.

Responding to another question about India’s demand for information on the investigations made on the Pakistani side about the incident, the spokesperson said: “But in any case what is India going to do with that information? How would they investigate it in IOK? I don’t know.”

Ms Aslam asked India to put the incident behind and move ahead.

“Even if we accept that there were drugs on the truck then the next question is, how do we proceed further? Do we bring everything to a halt or find a way out?”

She hoped that the ongoing discussions on the matter would yield results and the Intra-Kashmir trade would resume soon.



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