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India, Pak to hold talks in October

india Updated: Sep 12, 2007 11:41 IST

IANS
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Shaken by a recent spate of suicide bombings and keen to signal its seriousness about countering terrorism, Pakistan, after much dilly-dallying, has finally agreed to hold the second meeting of the anti-terror mechanism with India next month.

The anti-terror meet will be held here Oct 21-22, official sources told IANS. These talks will be followed by a dialogue on conventional and non-conventional confidence-building measures, the sources added.

India had proposed two sets of dates this month for the second meeting of the anti-terror mechanism since the first meeting in March, but Pakistan did not agree to it due to its preoccupation with domestic political problems.

After Tariq Osman Haider, additional secretary (UN and economic affairs), who was the chief Pakistani pointsperson for anti-terror talks, retired last month, Pakistan found another reason to delay the meeting of the mechanism.

Haider held talks with India's KC Singh, Additional Secretary (International Organisations) at the first meeting of the anti-terror mechanism held in Islamabad March 6.

India and Pakistan agreed to hold a quarterly meeting of the anti-terror institutional mechanism for cooperation in counter-terrorism after the two countries decided to set up the path-breaking mechanism on the sidelines of the NAM summit in Havana nearly a year ago.

During the first meeting of the joint mechanism, India and Pakistan had agreed to make it "more meaningful, substantive and significant, involving the framework for durable cooperation on terrorism."

There were some jarring notes at this maiden meeting with the Pakistani side suggesting that terror acts in Jammu and Kashmir were excluded from the joint mechanism. This assertion was quickly countered by New Delhi which underlined that all acts of terrorism in its territory were covered by it.

The mechanism was set up in the aftermath of the horrific bombings in Mumbai's commuter trains that led to a brief suspension of the composite dialogue between the two countries.