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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

Pillai to invite Pak counterpart for meeting in mid-March

PTI  New Delhi, February 13, 2011
First Published: 16:35 IST(13/2/2011) | Last Updated: 16:53 IST(13/2/2011)

In a quick follow-up to recent Indo-Pak decision to resume comprehensive talks, Union home secretary G K Pillai will extend an invitation to his Pakistani counterpart for discussions in New Delhi next month on counter-terrorism, including progress in Mumbai terror attacks trial there.

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"I will call my Pakistani counterpart this week inviting him to New Delhi. I will propose two sets of dates to him for a meeting in second-half of next month," Pillai told PTI.

This will be first structured bilateral Secretary-level meeting on counter-terrorism, including progress on the 26/11 trial in a Rawalpindi court.

More than two years after India had suspended composite dialogue with Pakistan in the wake of 26/11 attacks in 2008, the two sides recently decided to resume comprehensive dialogue comprising the same issues as in the composite one.

Asked about the issues to be taken up during the meeting with Pakistan interior secretary Chaudhry Qamar Zaman, Pillai said, "From our side it will be, of course, progress on investigations (26/11).

"We will ask for voice transcripts even though the trial court has said no. We will ask them 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."

Underlining lack of action on the part of Pakistan in the investigations in 26/11 attacks, he said, "So far most of the people they have caught are all chaps who have sold outboard engine or... driven a taxi and not anyone of the main people whose voice has been identified by Pakistani-American terrorist David Headley."

"I think by now, if they wanted, they should have arrested main persons behind it (Mumbai attacks). No use catching people on the street.... and not the real controllers and who are behind it (attacks)," despite India providing them the names, photographs and their addresses, the home secretary said.

Headley's own evidence shows clearly that there was support of certain elements in Pakistan state. So, to that extent anything which leads back to them, there is "total deniability", Pillai said when asked about what was preventing Pakistan from taking strong actions against those responsible for the attack.

He also rejected the view that recent developments in the investigations into the Samjhauta Express blast indicating involvement of right-wing extremism will put pressure on India while talking with Pakistan on terrorism.

"It will not put pressure on us. We are open about it. The investigations are open. Our courts are free. We are investigating the same. We had told them in June also that the investigations are on and as something crystallises, we shall share it with them.

"And now, we have said that as soon as the chargesheet is filed we will share full details with them because a very large number of Pakistani citizens were killed," Pillai said.


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