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Pak seeks details of Samjhauta blasts probe during secy-level talks

November 26, 2008 12:21 IST

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India and Pakistan have agreed to reinforce cooperation between their civilian investigation agencies to control cross-border terrorism, illegal immigration, influx of fake currency and liberalise the visa regime under the joint anti-terrorism mechanism.

Officials of the interior ministry said late on Tuesday that the decisions were taken during the composite dialogue, which reviewed proposals by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari [Images] for a treaty to make South Asia a non-nuclear region and an economic hub.

It was the fifth round of home secretary-level talks. The Indian side was represented by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, while Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah represented Pakistan.

During the talks, Kamal Shah asked his Indian counterpart to apprise Pakistan about the investigations into the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast.

Information about the involvement of the Indian Army's [Images] Lt-Col P S Purohit in the attack was also sought.

The two sides agreed for the first time to stop blaming each other for any untoward incident without evidence, local media reports said.

Under the joint anti-terrorism mechanism, a two-member committee has been formed, comprising additional foreign secretaries of the two sides. The committee will exchange information about terrorists.

The agreement on an anti-terrorism mechanism is being considered a big step for the improvement of relations.

The resolve to enhance cooperation between their civilian investigation and security agencies, Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency and India's Central Bureau of Investigation, is another significant achievement made during the talks.

The FIA and the CBI would formulate a joint strategy to control influx of fake currency and curb human smuggling, Syed Kamal Shah said.

Both sides agreed to install biometric system at all entry and exit points to stop illegal immigration.

The sources said the two sides agreed to implement recommendations of the India-Pakistan judicial commission for release and exchange of prisoners.

Pakistan expressed concern over the way some of the recently released Pakistani prisoners had been treated.

The Indian side claimed that Dawood Ibrahim [Images], one of the most-wanted persons in India, was in Pakistan. However, the claim was denied by Pakistani side, which said India should give specific evidence about his presence.

The sources said the two sides also exchanged lists of wanted criminals.


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