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Indian, Pak sleuths to hold crucial talks

The 2-day technical level talks between India's CBI and Pakistan's FIA will be held after a gap of nearly 17 years.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2006 14:10 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Sleuths from India and Pakistan will thrash out issues relating to human trafficking, counterfeit currency and organised crime in the first such meeting of the heads of criminal investigation units from Tuesday.

The two-day technical level talks between India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will be held after a gap of nearly 17 years.

"The last contact with the FIA was in 1989 on the sidelines of home secretary level talks and at that time the former CBI director, AP Mukherjee, visited Pakistan. We intend to revive contacts and see if we can build on the positives," said a senior CBI official.

A four-member team headed by FIA director Tariq Parvez is expected to arrive in Delhi late Monday.

"This visit is path-breaking and we hope to make the best of these talks," said the CBI source.

Senior CBI officials said that both sides were expected to appoint nodal officers for future interactions and also discuss issues relating to Interpol related matters.

"Clearly, we are meeting after a long time. The first day of talks will be exploratory but we will get down to critical issues once we have broken the ice," said the CBI source.

CBI officials did not want to comment whether the issue of wanted persons in the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai would be taken up during the talks but hinted that it would depend on how the deliberations progressed.

India had forwarded a list of 20 most wanted criminals to Pakistan in 2002, including mob boss Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and Mohammed Dossa - all wanted for the '93 blasts - who have reportedly taken refuge there.

The Pakistan authorities, however, have repeatedly denied their presence.

Also on the agenda during the talks is the 'expeditious disposal' of criminal cases in case a request is made by either side as well as training facilities for Pakistani officials.

The foundation for the talks was laid last August when Indian home secretary VK Duggal met his Pakistani counterpart Syed Kamal Shah in Delhi. A joint statement issued after the meeting said that the CBI-FIA conference would take place to work out modalities for cooperation among the investigating agencies.

First Published: Mar 19, 2006 10:19 IST