India is readying evidence on the alleged Pakistan-origin of morphed pictures of Assam violence which sparked an exodus of northeastern citizens from other states and plans to present it when External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna goes to Islamabad next month for talks, sources said Monday.
Krishna goes to Islamabad on a three-day visit Sep 7 for talks with his counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar that will focus on reviewing the second round of dialogue that was revived early last year following a hiatus after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
The talks are expected to encompass all bilateral issues, including terrorism and Kashmir, but with recent disclosures about the role of Pakistan-based elements in using morphed internet images that triggered an exodus of northeastern people from other states, the issue is set to figure in the discussions.
Krishna is expected to take up the issue of morphed pictures as such incidents show that elements engaged in anti-India propaganda have continued to be active in Pakistan, said sources.
During the talks, India is also set to highlight the activities of Hafiz Saeed, the alleged 26/11 mastermind, who continues to spout anti-India rhetoric with impunity.
Such anti-India campaigns were not conducive to creating a healthy atmosphere for improved relations, said sources.
Thousands of people from the northeast fled the Indian states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu last week after hate messages were spread through mobile phones and on Facebook, threatening retaliation for the ethnic violence in Assam last month.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said elements based in Pakistan used social networking websites to circulate morphed pictures to whip up communal tension in India. This was conveyed by Shinde to Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik during a telephonic conversation Sunday.
Islamabad has, however, rejected these charges and demanded evidence to prove it.
"The Indian minister has said that rumours were generated from Pakistan through cellular services," Malik told reporters in Islamabad while referring to his phone conversation with Shinde.
"I had requested him (Shinde) to provide evidence in this regard to us and we will take care of it," Malik added.
Against this backdrop, Indian authorities were compiling technical evidence with a view to presenting it to Pakistan during the delegation-level talks between foreign ministers of the two countries, said the sources.
The consultations on presenting the evidence were still going on, said the sources, adding that the external affairs ministry and home ministry were in touch on the issue.