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Interior Minister Rehman Mailk speaks to the media upon his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in New Delhi, India, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. — Photo by AP

NEW DELHI: The India-Pakistan “journey to peace” is progressing “very well”, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said here on Friday.

Speaking to the media soon after his arrival on a three-day visit, Mr Malik also promised to arrest Mumbai terror attack suspect Hafiz Saeed if New Delhi provided credible evidence about his involvement.

Mr Malik recalled how the India-Pakistan relationship had soured in the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack that was blamed on Pakistani terrorists.

Asked about Indian demands for Hafiz Saeed’s arrest and deportation, he said: “Just a statement from (Ajmal) Kasab is not enough.”

“We have to follow the law of the land. And of course (satisfy) the court... There has been a lot of propaganda about Hafiz Saeed.

“I assure you that we are still investigating the (Indian) evidence. And if that evidence can stand the test of courts of international standards, I will order his arrest even before returning home.”

“We have no love lost for Hafiz Saeed,” he added. “Our intentions are clear. Whoever does a crime, should be punished. I come with a message of love and peace from the people of Pakistan,” he said.

Mr Malik said Pakistan had always condemned terrorism. “We have lost 40,000 innocent people (to terrorism), 42,000 have become handicapped.”

“Pakistan and India have to be friends,” Mr Malik said, adding that this would only be possible when there was deeper people-to-people interaction among the two peoples.

He said because of the meetings between the leaders of India and Pakistan, the “journey to peace is progressing very well”.

“For this, I must give full credit to my leader, President (Asif Ali) Zardari, the prime minister, and equal credit to the Indian prime minister (Manmohan Singh) and (Indian finance minister) P. Chidambaram”.

He said he would discuss with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde ways to facilitate the entry of Indians and Pakistanis into each other’s territory once the new visa regime became operational.

“When they (Indians) enter Pakistan, they should feel they are coming to their own home,” he said. “Similar should be the case when people of Pakistan enter India.”

“We are all here to take the peace process forward,” he added.

Comments (7) Closed

Aarvey, India Dec 15, 2012 05:59am
In India there is a term for loud talkers without substance. They are called ' rubber mouths'.
raja hindustani Dec 15, 2012 10:44am
How much evidence do USA provide to Pakistan before drone attack inside Pakistan against TTP..???
Javed Dec 15, 2012 04:43am
Yes you are right Mr. Malik, not only Kasab, but Hafiz Saeed's own statement will also not be enough to arrest him.
munaf Dec 15, 2012 04:32am
Indian elite forces should go and bring this man to India to face the real justice.
Guru Dec 15, 2012 06:15am
Yes Sir, Kasab's words are not enough to arrest Hafeez Sayed. he was afterall a scum. But what about all the hate speech that Hafeez gives, in addition to the pile of evidence in the trail from Karachi to Bombay?
A.H. Sheikh (@ahsheikh) Dec 15, 2012 03:54am
So you are about to accept, he was Pakistani? What took too much to recognize him as Pakistani ?
NASAH (USA) Dec 15, 2012 04:14am
What evidence -- the live evidence of Mumbai is gone, been hanged while investigations are still going on -- not the fault of Pakistan this time. What petty myopia!