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India, Pak agree to dispose Interpol references
March 22, 2006 18:44 IST
Taking another important step in building mutual trust, India and Pakistan agreed on Wednesday to expedite disposal of pending Interpol references in each others' countries, which included that of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
India has sought Pakistan's assistance to hand over about 100 people believed to be in Pakistan and wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Islamabad claimed that 70 of its wanted people were in India.
A joint statement read out by CBI director Vijay Shanker after talks with his Pakistani counterpart Tariq Pervez said the two sides decided to have periodical meetings at short intervals between the Interpol nodal points. 'All efforts will be made by both sides for expeditious disposal of pending Interpol references', the statement said.
To a question whether India specifically raised the issue of handing over of Dawood, the main accused in the 1993 serial Mumbai bomb blasts, Shanker told reporters there were no individual references made during the meeting, which he termed as 'a very important confidence building measure between the two countries'.
"Both sides decided to execute all the Red Corner notices at the earliest. We agreed that all such references, which are delayed or have been deliberately delayed should be expedited in the best of the interests of the countries," Shanker said, adding the two sides have decided to cooperate on reciprocal basis and 'wish to resolve all the issues quickly'.
Director General of FIA Tariq Prevez told reporters later that Dawood Ibrahim was not in Pakistan.
The statement said the talks, held after a gap of 17 years, were 'constructive and held in a cordial atmosphere'.
"Both sides indentified areas of mutual interest and agreed to work out the modalities of cooperation. The two sides also decided to set up a joint study group upon the modalities of future cooperation in the areas of human trafficking, counterfeit currency and illegal immigration', the statement said.
It added that the two sides also agreed 'to designate an officer each as the nodal point to pursue cooperation between CBI and FIA in these areas', it said.
Asked about the nodal point, the CBI director said Islamabad and New Delhi had been identified as the points where the nodal officers would be stationed.
The two agencies will also explore possible avenues of professional training and share experience in various criminal investigations, it said, adding that Shanker also accepted an invitation from his Pakistani counterpart to visit Pakistan with his team of senior officers by the end of this year.
Besides Shanker, the Indian side includes an additional director, joint director (policy) and deputy director (coordintion) of the CBI, representatives of Home and External Affairs ministries, officials from Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Narcotics Control Bureau.
The Pakistani delegation includes an additional director general, an inspector general of FIA, a official from Pakistan's foreign office and official from its high commission.