The Indian and Pakistani Home Secretaries decided on Tuesday to form three sub-groups to more closely coordinate on contentious issues like terrorism, exchange of information on wanted criminals and drug trafficking.
The two-day Home Secretary-level talks on terrorism and drug trafficking were likely to be curtailed to one day because Pakistan’s Interior Secretary, Syed Kamal Shah, wanted to return to Islamabad to attend to the escalating Lal Masjid crisis in the Pakistani capital. Home Secretary-level talks on combating terrorism and narcotics trafficking are part of the eight-point bilateral composite dialogue process. The Ministry of External Affairs was trying to facilitate Shah’s return to Pakistan tonight across the Wagah border.
The decision to form another core sub-group to tackle the menace of terrorism takes place as the joint anti-terror mechanism, set up after the Havana summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President General Pervez Musharraf last September, appears unable to take off.
A meeting of the joint anti-terror mechanism, earlier scheduled to be held in June, did not take place and, officials said, no dates had been set for a next meeting.
The groups will work on details to establish closer cooperation in areas like countering terrorism, exchange of information on wanted criminals like Dawood Ibrahim, and drug trafficking.
After talks between the delegations, headed by Shah and India’s Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, Shah told reporters the talks had moved in a positive and conducive environment.
"We have formed three groups on different subjects,” he said. "These groups will work on minute details of what we discussed in the morning so that the two countries can ensure better cooperation.”