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India proposes new dates for talks with Pak

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 21, 2011
First Published: 21:01 IST(21/2/2011) | Last Updated: 22:35 IST(21/2/2011)

India has proposed two sets of dates in March for the home secretary-level talks — a forum New Delhi would like to use to nudge Islamabad to quicken the pace of investigations and court hearing in the 26/11 Mumbai terror case.

On Monday, home minister P Chidambaram rued the lack of progress in the case when he welcomed the judgement confirming death penalty for 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab.

"Between the high court and the trial court in Pakistan, there has been no movement at all (on 26/11 case) in a way," Chidambaram said when asked whether, in the light of the judgement, India would call for a speedy hearing of the case in Pakistan.

Sources say the court proceedings would figure prominently at the home secretary-level meeting.

"The communication proposing two sets of dates - March 21-22 and March 28-29 - was discussed last week in the meeting between home secretary GK Pillai and Pakistan interior secretary Chaudhry Qamar Zaman. We are awaiting their response indicating their preference," a source said.

This would be the first structured bilateral secretary-level meeting on counter-terrorism after the recent Indo-Pak decision to resume dialogue.

Besides the progress in the Mumbai terror attacks, the home ministry is also expected to reiterate the demand for voice samples of 26/11 accused.

Last week, home secretary GK Pillai indicated the progress on 26/11 probe will be a key point. "We’ll ask for voice

transcripts even though the trial court has said no. We will ask why they have not gone and appealed. I am sure the high court or the Supreme

Court may have said that the voice transcripts can be given," he said.

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