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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Why India is unwilling to host Rehman Malik

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 16, 2012
First Published: 23:08 IST(16/12/2012) | Last Updated: 23:09 IST(16/12/2012)

For a long time now, the home ministry has resisted a visit by advisor to the Pakistan Prime Minister on interior affairs Rehman Malik, who wanted to leave his imprint on the resumed India-Pakistan talks.

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The reason: Hosting him without any substantial progress in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case would give the impression that the two countries were back to business as usual.

Many in the Indian establishment regard Malik as somebody who cannot walk his talk on the Mumbai attack case.

Malik promised a speedy trial in the 26/11 case on many occasions. But the moment of truth came when the Americans shared intelligence on how Lashkar-e Taiba commander and Mumbai attacks plotter Zaki ur-Rehman Lakhvi was operating freely from prisons, even using the services of couriers. Pakistan did not do much to curb this practice, much to India's chagrin.

Malik was never known to shy away from the Indian media - always giving the relevant bytes.

"Your ministers should be similarly accessible to our media," he always said. And on the sidelines of the Saarc summit in Maldives, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani were meeting, he declared that "Kasab, a non-state actor, should be hanged".

Malik, a confidant of President Asif Ali Zardari, had once proclaimed that evidence - not information - was required to convict terror suspect Hafiz Saeed. India, on the other hand, believes that action - not talk - is required to bridge the Indo-Pak impasse.


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