Pak had offered help to deconstruct Netaji mysteries

A top Pakistani government official had assured India of helping in research work related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's secret journey to Europe during World War II, a report today said.

According to Hindustan Times, Pakistan's then information secretary Altaf Gauhar had agreed to help New Delhi, but on a condition that everything would be confidential.

Netaji Research Bureau in West Bengal had asked former prime minister Indira Gandhi for help to collect information related to the great freedom fighter's trip in 1941 through Peshawar, Kabul, Tashkent, Moscow and Berlin.

Subsequently, the then Indian high commissioner S Sen had an informal word with Gauhar, who agreed to help in the research work.

However, it's not clear whether the offer materialised.

Gauhar was very close to ex-Pakistan president Ayub Khan. While giving his nod, the Pakistani official had categorically said that nothing should be made public as Netaji's history has many political implications which are not liked by several political personalities.

Days ahead of assembly elections in West Bengal, culture minister Mahesh Sharma on Tuesday released the second tranche of 50 declassified files related to Subhas Chandra Bose even as he asserted that the move is not "linked with politics".

As many as hundred secret files, ranging from those from the British Raj to as late as 2007, were made public by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Netaji's 119th birth anniversary on 23 January.