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Threat from Pak not diminished: Chidambaram to US

Sep 11, 2009 09:05 PM IST India India

Washington DC: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on his first visit to the US after the UPA victory in the general elections has told his hosts in Washington DC that the threat from Pakistan had not diminished.

P Chidambaram said, "I did brief her (Hillary Clinton) about the progress of the Ajmal Kasab case in India and I also mentioned about the no progress in Pak even in respect of the 5 or 6 people they've arrested and that Hafiz Saeed remains a free man."

The home minister won US backing for India's stand on setting pre-conditions for dialogue with Islamabad which has made Pakistan jittery.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik retorted saying, "America jaine ki kya zaroorat hai bhai, mein hazir hoon, hamari poori ministry of foreign affairs hazir hai, lets sit together, itna lamba safar jaane ke bajaiye idhr hi mil le hamein (There was no need to travel to US for talks. We and our ministry of foreign affairs are right here)..

Experts however warn that Washington's response maybe tempered given that Islamabad is its most important ally in its war against terror.

A fact which Chidamabaram indirectly acknowledged when he said that he wasn't pressing on any point but he was hopeful of closer cooperation with the US on counter terrorism.

Chidambaram is keen on US help in improving scientific investigation methods, upgrading interrogation techniques used in India and seeking the expertise of the New York Police Department in protecting mega cities.

"I was very keen to see how the NYPD works and I was very impressed. I think some of their techniques can be used to secure India's megacities like Delhi and Mumbai etc," said Chidambaram.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will have an opportunity to touch base with President Obama on larger issues when they meet next week at the G20 summit in Pittsburg.