India asks Pakistan to join hands against terror

June 27th, 2012 - 3:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) In the wake of the arrest of an Indian accused in the 26/11 attack and disclosures about his links with Pakistani terrorists, India Wednesday asked Pakistan to join hands to fully cooperate in the counter-terror fight to normalise relations between the two countries.

“We have always focused our attention on terror and terror-related issues. While Pakistan claims it is a victim of terror, they should join hands with India so that terror and terror-related issues can be eliminated from the relationship,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters here.

He was responding to a question on whether the revelations made by Abu Jindal Hamza, arrested here June 21 after his deportation from Saudi Arabia, about the role of Pakistani terrorists in 26/11 mayhem will figure in talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries here July 4-5.

Hamza, according to intelligence sources, was one of six people who were holed up in a “control room” in Karachi and directing the audacious Mumbai attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists in November 2008. The carnage left 166 people dead.

“It is India’s hope as always that Pakistan will fully cooperate with India in normalising relations,” he added.

Hamza’s arrest and his dramatic disclosures have renewed the focus on expediting justice for 26/11 victims, a key issue that will figure prominently in discussions between Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani in New Delhi next week.

The foreign secretary-level talks will go ahead, but in view of the Indian presidential elections scheduled for July 19 and the ongoing political churn in Pakistan, Krishna’s visit to Islamabad, which was planned mid-July, is now expected to take place towards August-end.

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