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Krishna-Khar meet: Terror, Pak's 26/11 trial on agenda

September 05, 2012 18:52 IST
Setting the tone for the foreign minister-level Indo-Pak talks in Islamabad, India made it clear that terrorism and early conclusion of Mumbai terror attack trial in Pakistan remains "core concern" for it.

"All issues are going to be discussed...Terrorism is certainly a core concern to us. Mumbai (26/11 trial) is a core concern to us," highly placed sources said when asked about the agenda of the meeting between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on Saturday in Islamabad.

However, they were not very forthcoming on whether Krishna will carry any evidence of the home ministry's assertion that most of the recent hate messages spread through web and SMSes besides any other proof on the revelations made by Lashkar-e-Tayyiba terrorist Abu Jundal on Pakistan's involvement in 26/11 attacks.

The issue of Jundal has already been raised by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai during talks with his counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani in New Delhi in July, they said.

The parleys, which is a review meeting for the second round of talks which included discussion on contentious issues such as Jammu and Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen, will also be preceded by the joint commission meeting,  which is taking place after a gap of nearly seven years.

The JCM is headed by the ministers of the two countries and consists of eight technical groups, mostly relating to trade and economy.

The Commission was revived in 2005 after a gap of 16 years.

Replying to a query on the possibility of terrorism issue taking a backseat in light of fast progress in trade relations between the two countries, the sources said if there is "rapid and faster" progress in one area, it does "not mean we are ignoring the other".

Asked if the much-awaited new visa agreement will be signed between the two countries during this visit, sources said India hopes it will be signed as early as possible.

The visa agreement was supposed to be signed during the home-interior secretaries level talks held in May in Pakistan. "We were ready in May and we are ready now," a source said.

The new relaxed visa regime will, for the first time, include group tourist visa, visa on arrival for senior citizens and children and a year-long multiple-entry and multi-city visa for businessmen.

On the issue of possible sale of electricity to Pakistan, sources maintained that the proposal is still being studied at the technical level. There have been technical-level talks on the possibility of sale of power, a source said, adding the proposal and the difficulties are still being studied.

"Our grids are not even connected. There are no transmission lines between India and Pakistan," the source added.

Sources also said the issue of Siachen might come up during the bilateral talks but said it might not be a very detailed one.

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