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Malik hints signing of visa regime with India in September

August 31, 2012

Interior Minister Rehman Malik. – File Photo

TEHRAN: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said Pakistan had finalised work on visa regime with India and hoped it would be signed during the visit of Indian Foreign Minister to Pakistan in September.

The Interior minister in his talk with media here said Pakistan wants friendly relations with India and added that in some matters it was going out-of-the-way to ensure better relations with its immediate neighbour.

Malik who accompanied the President during his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed the meeting as “excellent”, and said both countries were heading in the right direction to resolve all outstanding issues.

He said it was the obligation of the two states to identify their common enemy, which does not want the two countries to be friends.

“We would not allow anyone to exploit the situation,” he added.

The Interior Minister referred to many cases in the past during which allegations were leveled against Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), but in the end it transpired that in fact the people from India were responsible.

He said all those responsible for creating misunderstandings between the two countries must be stopped as the objective was to achieve peace at all costs.

Regarding the progress on Mumbai case, he said Pakistan has taken numerous steps to bring the culprits to justice. He said the Commission sent by Pakistan had demanded that the three major witnesses; including the doctor, the magistrate and the investigating officer be allowed to be cross examined.

He said once the cross examination report is available, the Pakistani courts could proceed on the matter.

He said it was a very complex situation where non-state actors, both from Pakistan and India, were involved in creating misunderstandings between the two countries and mentioned David Headly, whom he described as a 'triple agent'.

Rehman Malik expressed the belief that frequent interaction between the leadership of the two countries would help improve the environment.

Regarding Hafiz Saeed, he said all allegations against him were based on hearsay.

He said he has repeatedly said that if India has some solid evidence it should come up with it.

To a question about the alleged Lashkar-e-Tayyaba terrorist Abu Jandal, the Interior minister said he was part of a sting operation, and added that such issues can only be addressed with a visible resolve of the two countries to fight terrorism.

He also urged the media to verify the facts, as it could damage relationship between the two countries.