Indian, Pakistani home secretaries begin talks in New Delhi

13:56, March 29, 2011      

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Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai Monday began a two-day meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Qamar Zaman on the sidelines of India- Pakistan cricket World Cup seminal scheduled on March 30.

It is the first ever Home Secretary talks between the two rivals since the Mumbai attacks in 2008.

In the meantime, Indian Secretary for Internal Security U.K. Bansal and other Indian Home Ministry officials Monday arrived at the Ashok Hotel, where Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik was also present.

The meeting, in which both sides are being represented by a 17- member delegation each, is expected to go on till late in the evening.

The issues related to speedy trial for Nov. 26 accused, dismantling of terror camps and release of fishermen among others were likely to be discussed in the secretary-level meeting.

The most important issue on the agenda is investigations into the Mumbai terror attack.

Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram has repeated India's request for voice samples of the accused several times, but there has been no clear response from the Pakistan side.

Pakistan has so far not moved to hand over voice samples of Nov. 26 accused like Zakir Ur, Rehman Lakhvi, Ab O. Gama and Zarar Shah. This despite Interior Minister Rehman Malik assuring Chidambaram during talks nine months ago that India will not be disappointed with Pakistan's response.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to raise the issue of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and other Mumbai blast accused believed to be residing in Pakistan.

The Pakistan government has till now denied this charge.

Meanwhile, India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) has sought permission to visit Pakistan to investigate Nov. 26. Also Pakistan wants to send a Judicial Commission to India as part of the case against Nov. 26 accused.

India wants Pakistan to dismantle 33 terror camps. However, Pakistan denies their presence. An agreement is likely to be signed on early release of Indian and Pakistani fishermen who've been languishing in jails in both countries.

Source: Xinhua

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