Pakistan, India vow joint terror fight

May 25, 2012

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Indian delegation led by R.K. Singh, Indian Home Secretary also called on Interior Minister Senator Rehman Malik at Ministry of Interior in Islamabad on Friday. – Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Friday pledged to fight terrorism together, calling it “a continuing threat to peace and security” and a block to the full establishment of normal relations.

The announcement came after two-day talks between the home and interior secretaries of the two countries at the Pakistani tourist resort of Bhurban.

The talks were led by the interior secretary of Pakistan, Siddiq Akbar, and the home secretary of India, Raj Kumar Singh, and included security experts from both countries.

“Both sides agreed that terrorism poses a continuing threat to peace and security and full normalisation of bilateral relations,” said a joint statement.

“They reiterated the firm and undiluted commitment of the two countries to fight and eliminate this scourge in all its forms and manifestations and bring those responsible for such crimes to justice,” it added.

The neighbouring countries also agreed to enhance cooperation on terrorism, human trafficking, narcotics, counterfeit currency and cyber crime.

Relations between India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947, have been plagued by border disputes, and accusations of Pakistani militant activity against India.

Pakistan “agreed in principle” to host a judicial commission from India to look at the investigation into the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people died.

India blames Pakistani militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group for training, equipping and financing the attack with support from “elements” in the Pakistani military.

Meanwhile, the Indian secretary assured Pakistan of taking stern action against any ‘Indian miscreants’ if found involved in Balochistan unrest after his Pakistani counterpart handed over evidences to him, DawnNews reported.

Moreover, the Indian secretary said that they had also briefed the Pakistani delegation on the progress in the Samjhota Express investigations.

Singh said that a chalan has been submitted in the court and three arrests had also been made in this regard.

The Indian secretary declared the talks fruitful, and said it has brought the two countries closer.

Singh also extended an offer to visit India to Pakistan’s secretary, which was duly accepted.

However, according to sources, allegations leveled by both sides kept the environment argumentative during the talks. Samjhota Express, Balochistan unrest and Mumbai attacks were the sources of arguments.

The Indian secretary even offered $ 10 million for handing Hafiz Saeed to India, sources said.

The Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder, Hafiz Saeed is accused of masterminding the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

It was the second round of talks between the home secretaries of the two nations after the first held in New Delhi in March 2011.