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Indo-Pak Home Secretaries to meet on Mon

News18test sharma |

Updated: March 27, 2011, 11:23 AM IST
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Indo-Pak Home Secretaries to meet on Mon
No breakthrough is expected in the official-level talks being held after a gap of nine months.

New Delhi: Home Secretaries of India and Pakistan will meet in New Delhi for two days from on Monday in the shadow of a possible summit meeting between the two sides on the margins of the cricket encounter in Mohali.

No breakthrough is expected in the official-level talks being held after a gap of nine months, officials here say but they expect "ice may be broken" for the resumption of substantial dialogue later.

The two-day meeting between Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai and his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Qamar Zaman will deliberate on a wide range of issues, including Islamabad's reluctance in co-operating fully in bringing to justice the perpetrators of 26/11 attacks.

The meeting comes ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's possible meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani, the invitation for which was sent only on Friday after it emerged that India and Pakistan will clash in the World Cup semi-final at Mohali on Wednesday.

"Pakistan's lack of sincerity in cooperating with India in any anti-terror initiatives could be the reason behind little enthusiasm on the part of Indian security establishment towards the talks," an official said.

The prosecution's attempt in Pakistan to bring the 26/11 guilty to justice "has not moved an inch" and India's request for providing the voice samples of the handlers of the attackers has fallen on deaf ears.

When Home Minister P Chidambaram had asked for action against the 26/11 perpetrators and voice samples of handlers of the attackers during his Islamabad visit last year, his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik told him that "you would not be disappointed by our response."

But nine months down the line, there is no Pakistani response, officials point out.

"So how can we expect that this meeting will bring a major breakthrough for us?," the official asked.

Besides, no key person, who was actually involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror strikes or giving directions to the attackers, has been arrested in Pakistan and only second or third-level conspirators were put behind the bars.

Indian investigators have transcripts of the recorded conversations between the terrorists at each of the sites of the attacks and their handlers based in Pakistan.

India has given the names, photographs and addresses of the handlers and Pakistan just need to check out their voices. But no response has been provided to it yet. New Delhi had also conveyed to Islamabad that it wants to send a commission to Pakistan to question jailed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

India is yet to get any response to it though New Delhi conveyed to Islamabad that a similar Commission could be sent by Pakistan to India to question the investigating officer of the 26/11 probe and the judge of the trial court.

"We are naturally disappointed over Pakistan's delay in bringing the perpetrators of Mumbai terror attacks to justice. This meeting will be a low key affairs," said the official.

However, issues like dismantling of terror camps across the border, handing over of voice samples of Mumbai terror attack masterminds and progress in Samjhauta Express blast probe are expected to dominate the agenda of the two Home Secretaries dialogue.

New Delhi will also ask Islamabad to hand over Indian Mujhahideen terrorists and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim taking shelter in that country and check inflow of fake Indian currency notes.

Pakistan is expected to ask India about the progress of Samjhauta Express blast probe in which activists of right- wing groups were allegedly involved. Majority of the victims of the train, which runs between India and Pakistan, were from the neighbouring country.

The proposed talks will be the first structured bilateral secretary-level meeting on counter-terrorism after India and Pakistan decided to resume comprehensive talks.

More than two years after India had suspended the composite dialogue with Pakistan in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks in November, 2008, the two sides decided in Thimphu in February this year to resume comprehensive dialogue on all outstanding issues.

After the Home Secretary level talks, Commerce Secretaries and Water Resources Secretaries of the two countries are expected to meet in the near future.

First Published: March 27, 2011, 11:23 AM IST
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