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Chidambaram meets Malik in Thimphu

Chidambaram meets Malik in Thimphu

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the meeting was very good and held in a very cordial atmosphere.

Thimphu: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday had a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik, as he said terrorism posed the most significant "existential challenge" to peace and security in South Asia.

Chidambaram and Malik had their deliberations on the fringes of the SAARC Interior/Home Ministers meeting, their second one-to-one interaction since their last encounter in Islamabad in 2010 on the sidelines of a regional meeting.

Malik said the meeting was "very good" and held in a very cordial atmosphere.

Issues of mutual interests were discussed, said Malik, who yesterday described Chidambaram as his "elder brother".

At the SAARC meet earlier in the day, Chidambaram said terrorism was the "most significant existential challenge" to peace and security in South Asia and it was the single largest hindrance to socio-economic development in the region.

The Pakistanai Interior Minister while expressing his intention to meet Chidambaram here said there are a few issues to be discussed with the Indian leader.

"Well, since we are here, why not we meet? We may meet," he told PTI on Saturday when asked whether he would have a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart.

Interestingly, Malik and Chidambaram traveled yesterday on the same Druk Air commercial flight from Delhi to Paro, 56 km from the capital of this Himalayan nation.

Malik said that during his brief interaction with Chidambaram on the flight he conveyed to him that Pakistan would be "very happy" to offer any help to India on any issue.

"I have told him that we will be very happy to offer any cooperation," he said.

Asked what are the issues he would like to discuss with the Indian Home Minister, Malik said, "He is my elder brother. I will give him the chance to speak first. Let us see what is on his mind and then I will respond to that. I have a few points to discuss but I will not tell you."

first published:July 24, 2011, 13:09 IST