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Talks begin, India tells Pak to act on 26/11 suspects

world Updated: May 25, 2012 01:35 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times
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The interior secretaries of India and Pakistan held their first day of talks in Islamabad on Thursday, with India expressing its disappointment over the pace of court proceedings against Mumbai attack suspects.

Speaking to journalists before the talks began, Indian home secretary RK Singh said India was not satisfied with Pakistani investigations into the Mumbai attacks, and the judicial proceedings on the attacks were advancing at a “very slow” rate.

Indian officials also raised points related to the investigation and prosecution of the suspects by the Pakistan government. The Indian officials told their Pakistani counterparts that a number of 26/11 suspects — including mastermind Hafiz Saeed — were never arrested by the Pakistan government, despite the furnishing of adequate evidence. The Pakistan government has been adamant in the contention that it lacks evidence admissible in a court of law to prosecute Saeed.

Pakistan interior secretary Siddiq Akbar Khwaja said his side was “discussing issues with an open mind”.

Ahead of the talks, Indian officials said the two sides gave the finishing touches to a new relaxed visa regime that will include tourist visas, visas on arrival for senior citizens and children, and year-long multiple-entry visas for businessmen.

The pact may be inked before the conclusion of talks on Friday, official sources said. However, reports in the Pakistani media claimed the visa agreement was unlikely to be signed because the Pakistani cabinet had not approved it.

With PTI inputs