Chidambaram travels to Islamabad today
GK NEWS NETWORK
New Delhi, June 24: In the first ministerial visit from India to Pakistan since 26/11, P Chidambaram will travel to Islamabad Friday on a two-day trip for the SAARC interior ministers’ conference.
Chidambaram is expected to have bilateral meeting with Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik soon after his arrival in Islamabad.
On Saturday, Chidambaram will join his counterparts from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives at the SAARC Interior Ministers’ conference.
Strengthening of police cooperation will be high on agenda of the conference during which India is expected to press for visible collaboration by member countries in the fight against terrorism.
The conference will deliberate on ways to implement police networking and exchange of information, sources said.
A mechanism for police cooperation is already in place for the last two years but it has not really taken off, the sources said, adding India will underscore the need for making it an effective tool to fight the menace of terrorism afflicting South Asia.
India is also expected to press for early ratification by Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal of the SAARC Mutual Legal Assistance agreement on criminal matters to ensure that terrorism is combated effectively.
The agreement was reached at the SAARC Summit in Colombo in 2008.
The conference will also discuss issues related to SAARC visas in the backdrop of proposals for expanding this category of travel documents.
At present MPs, judges, 100 identified business leaders, sports persons and 150 journalists are availing SAARC Visa facility.
PTI ADDS FROM ISLAMABAD:
Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik Thursday said he would like to discuss all issues that have been “creating irritation” in the bilateral ties in a “transparent” and “very responsible” manner.
Malik said Pakistan wants friendly ties with India and welcomed Chidambaram’s visit to Islamabad beginning tomorrow for the SAARC Home Ministers’ meeting.
“Well, they must have brought an agenda. We will also bring our agenda and discuss it on the table in a transparent and very responsible manner,” Malik told reporters here when asked about the agenda for his meeting with Chidambaram.
Malik said he had been having “indirect conservations” with Chidambaram through dossiers on the Mumbai attacks.
“Indian authorities and Pakistani authorities are meeting, as you know there was a gap earlier. So welcome incoming guests from India,” he said.
About differences in the bilateral relations, Malik said: “We want friendship. We want to bring every issue which has been creating irritation between India and Pakistan.”
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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