India, Pakistan begin anti-terror talks
India and Pakistan on Monday began the second meeting of their joint anti-terror mechanism, with the shadow of the Karachi blasts and a string of recent bombings in Indian towns as the backdrop.
KC Singh, additional secretary (international organisations) in the external affairs ministry, held talks with the Pakistani delegation led by Khalid Aziz Babar, additional secretary (UN&EC) in the ministry of foreign affairs.
India is likely to bring up with Pakistan the alleged complicity of Pakistan's intelligence agencies in recent blasts in Hyderabad, Ajmer and Ludhiana.
In a recent interview, National Security Adviser MK Narayanan had said that the blasts in the three cities indicated the suspected involvement of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).
With the blasts in Karachi on the comeback rally of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto and a spate of explosions since the army action against radical clerics in Islamabad's Lal Masjid, Pakistan is likely to equate itself with India as a victim of terrorism.
A joint statement is expected at the end of the talks.
India and Pakistan have agreed to hold a quarterly meeting of the anti-terror institutional mechanism, which was set up on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Havana nearly a year ago, to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism between the two countries.
The mechanism followed the horrific bombings in Mumbai's commuter trains that led to a brief suspension of the composite dialogue between the two countries.