New Delhi: Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Saturday tried to assuage outrage over his remarks on torture meted out to Kargil hero Saurabh Kalia, saying he will look into the case.

At the same time, the minister, who had on Friday stated that he did not know whether Kalia, whose mutilated body was returned to India by Pakistan Army, had died of bullet or weather, on Saturday gave another spin.

If the Pakistani Army tortured him, would they have they given his body back, he said while responding to a volley of questions from reporters.

Malik, who is on a three-day visit here, claimed that India has never raised the Kalia issue with Pakistan in the last 15 years.

"If the Pakistani Army has tortured him, why would have they given his dead body. There have been many things to it. His father wants to take the matter to International Court of Justice. Yesterday, during the meeting from the first time I was asked to look into the matter.”

"I promised them that please give me the detail. I will return and I will look into the matter and revert with detailed information. I sympathise with his father," he said.

The minister reiterated that he was not sure whether Kalia died of a bullet or bad weather in Kargil.

"I said that Kargil is full of snow. I said I don't know whether he died of a bullet or because of any other reason or weather. So no negativity of any kind should be brought into it," he said.

When asked if he would apologise for the incident, Malik said, "When I came there, I was fired upon a question about Mr Kalia. India has never taken up the issue with me or with any of the component of my governments bilaterally.

"And I was not expecting it. So if a 15-year-old incident is put before me and I am asked to apologise on behalf of Pakistan Army, had your Home Minister come there (and asked the question) what would have he said?" Malik said he would like to meet the father of the deceased army officer, N K Kalia, who has recently approached the Supreme Court with a plea to direct the Indian government to raise the issue of torture of his son by Pakistani soldiers in captivity at the International Court of Justice.

"I saw his father's interview. It was very hard and painful... The matter has not been investigated. We should jointly look into the whole matter," he said.

The Supreme Court had on Friday sought a response from the Centre on the father's plea.

Captain Kalia of 4 Jat had led the first team which reported intrusion in the Kargil Sector by the Pakistani soldiers. During the reconnaissance, he along with five others were captured on May 15, 1999. After 20 days, their severely mutilated bodies were handed over to India. The autopsy report revealed extreme ante-mortem torture which included cigarette burns, piercing of ear drums with hot iron rods and amputated vital organs.


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