PC meets Malik, presses for action against Saeed

PC meets Malik, presses for action against Saeed

25 June 2010
The Daily Excelsior


ISLAMABAD: Home Minister P Chidambaram tonight met his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik and is believed to have pressed for urgent action against JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and 26-11 handlers, including those who are believed to be in the Pakistani Army. Chidambaram, the first Indian Home Minister to visit Pakistan in three decades, met Malik at the Interior Ministry here, where he was accorded a red carpet welcome and given a ceremonial Guard of Honour. In a special gesture, Malik went to the Chaklala Air Base in Rawalpindi and personally received Chidambaram, who arrived to attend the SAARC Home Ministersí Conference tomorrow. On their way to the VIP lounge, both Chidambaram and Malik were seen talking to each other and posed for photographs. The meeting went on for almost two hours, well beyond the scheduled time of 45 minutes. Chidambaram and Malik held one-on-one talks for over one hour after which the delegations joined them. 'It is a very good moment and good beginning. It was a good discussion and it sends out a good message to the people of both Pakistan and India,' Malik told reporters after the meeting. 'There should exchange of hearts (between India and Pakistan) rather than dossiers,' he said. During the meeting, Chidambaram, the first Indian Minister to visit Pakistan after the 26-11 strikes, is believed to have told Malik that the time has come for Pakistan to address issues concerning the deadly Mumbai attacks with seriousness that they warrant. The Indian Home Minister is also understood to have sought action against Saeed, whom New Delhi considers as the mastermind of the 26-11 attacks, and handlers, including those who are believed to be serving in the Pakistani Army, of the deadly attack that killed 166 people. Chidambaram is also believed to have sought voice samples of the Pakistani handlers and raised issues like infiltration on the border of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistanis who have infiltrated and are indulging in militant activities. Later, Chidambaram also met Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Chidambaram said Pakistan can surely give voice samples of handlers as it is universally acknowledged that handlers were in Pakistan. 'We think we know who the handlers were. Surely, they can give us voice samples. We have recordings on our side.' When asked whether India will accept Pakistan giving voice samples to any third country, he said 'I suggested one time that donít give it to us. Give it to a third country so that it is subjected to forensic analysis in a third country. Asked whether Pakistani Army personnel were among the handlers of the 26-11 attackers, he said 'If you are quoting from the dossier (that India gave to Pakistan) you are quoting correctly. But I do not know whether they are real names or assumed names.' Asked whether the handlers included two Pakistani Army Majors, Chidambaram said 'That is what the dossier said.' Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani met on the sidelines of a regional conference in April and agreed to resume talks which India broke off after the attack. Tackling militant groups like the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), blamed by India for the Mumbai attack, has been an Indian precondition for restarting comprehensive talks over water, Kashmir and other disputes. Pakistan has acknowledged the Mumbai attack was plotted and partly launched from its soil and has put on trial seven suspects, including a senior commander of LeT, for their role in the assault. But Pakistanís Supreme Court last month upheld a lower courtís decision to release Hafiz Saeed, the founder of LeT accused by India of masterminding the attack. Pakistan says India has provided insufficient evidence to prosecute Saeed, who also leads an Islamist charity, Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Analysts say the Malik-Chidambaram talks were crucial and would set a tone for future discussions. The foreign ministers of Pakistan and India will meet on July 15 in Islamabad to push forward efforts aimed at normalising ties. (Agencies)


[Home] [Archives 2010]
Web site maintained by Md. Sadiq & Friends