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Pakistan challenges India to a debate over 26/11 probe

world Updated: Sep 11, 2009 20:38 IST

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday challenged India to a "debate" during the upcoming session of UN General Assembly its probe into the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Talking to reporters here, Malik asked India to stop the blame game and resume talks with Pakistan.

Malik's remarks came a day after India Thursday conveyed to the US its displeasure over Pakistan's reluctance to take action against militants arrested for their role in the Mumbai terror attacks and letting their mastermind go free.

Indian Home minister P Chidambaram, who met Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, other government officials and key lawmakers on his second day in Washington, said he was overall "pleased with the level of interest shown by the officials and leaders of the US administration to the security issues that confront India".

Addressing the media after the talks, Chidambaram said he had briefed US leaders on the quick progress made in the Mumbai terror trial and Pakistan's reluctance to take action against five to six militants arrested for role in 26/11 and releasing their mastermind Hafiz Saeed.

On his part, Malik said that Pakistan had started the trial of the five militants with transparency. The hearings would begin after Eid and are likely to be completed in two to two-and-a-half months.

Urging India not to cast doubts on Pakistan's sincerity, the interior minister said that as Pakistan respected Indian courts, India should respect Pakistan's courts.

About Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, Malik said he had been released by Pakistani courts.

Responding to a question, the minister said this was not the right time to indulge in the blame game as people of both countries want cordial relations.

He added Pakistan also wanted that the culprits involved in the Samjhauta Express tragedy be brought to trial.