India, Pakistan to continue exchange of information on terror incidents

November 14th, 2007 - 2:41 am ICT by admin  
The Indian delegation was led by External Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary (International Organisation) KC Singh, while Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary (UN and EC) Khalid Aziz Babar lead his side.

“Both sides shared new information on terrorist incidents including those, which have occurred since the last meeting. They agreed to continue to work to identify measures, exchange specific information and assist in investigations,” an External Affairs Ministry release said.

“The two sides reviewed the follow up steps taken on the information shared during the first meeting of the Joint Anti Terrorism Mechanism held in Islamabad on March 6, 2007 and in the intervening period,” the release added.

The next meeting of the mechanism will be held in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Pakistan today said that the internal situation in both countries would not affect the bilateral peace process.

“Domestic situation either in Pakistan or India has nothing to do with the composite dialogue. If the ruling alliance in New Delhi is destabilised at the moment, it does not mean that the dialogue would go slow,” said Muhammad Sadiq, spokesperson of Pakistan’s Foreign Office.

“Secondly, there is no instability in Pakistan. We are in election year. Elections campaigns have started. So it’s a very active period in terms of domestic political scene,” he stated.

At the first meeting of the JATM, India had handed over a photo of a Pakistani national suspected to be involved in the bomb blasts on Samjhauta Express

Today’s meeting assumed significance as it was held in the backdrop of recent blasts in Hyderabad, Ajmer and Ludhiana.

The JATM was constituted after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf met on September 16, 2006, on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Havana, to put in place a joint anti-terrorism institutional mechanism to identify and implement counter-terrorism initiatives and investigations.

The second meeting, which should have been held in June, was held after seven months. India is of the opinion that the delay was more because of internal troubles in Pakistan.

Officially, Pakistan maintains that the previous official nominated for the talks had retired and his replacement took time.

India and Pakistan had agreed to exchange information about terrorism with an aim of tracking down the culprits of the past attacks and prevent incidents in future.

India and Pakistan had decided to meet every three months, with the delegations having the freedom to call for more information if required.

The purpose of the joint mechanism is to prevent terrorist attacks in both countries, and to assist each other through information sharing.

A meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Home Ministers will also be held here on October 25 to discuss terrorism, money laundering, drug and human trafficking.

Prior to this meeting, police chiefs from SAARC countries will meet on October 23. (ANI)

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