Second round of Indo-Pak ATM talks today

November 14th, 2007 - 2:38 am ICT by admin  
External Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary (International Organisation) KC Singh will lead the Indian delegation, while Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry Additional Secretary (UN and EC) Khalid Aziz Babar will lead his side.

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

The meeting seems to be very significant as it is being held in the backdrop of recent blasts in Hyderabad, Ajmer and Ludhiana.

Pakistan will provide India with an evidence about its involvement in terrorist activities and backing to militancy in tribal areas.

“India will not only be provided with the evidence of its involvement in tribal areas and in this regard the role being played by its consulates in Afghanistan but also be cautioned to bring immediate halt to its support to militancy,” The Nation quoted a Pakistani official, as saying.

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.

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.

In March this year, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had rubbished Islamabad’s demand, after the first meeting early this year that violence in Jammu and Kashmir could not be covered under the ATM as the state was ‘disputed’.

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

The second meeting, which should have been held in June, is being 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.

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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