India, Pakistan hold talks, focus on Jindal disclosures (Lead)

July 4th, 2012 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) India and Pakistan Wednesday began talks in a bid to keep the dialogue process on track amid new disclosures on 26/11 plotter Abu Jindal Hamza’s links with Pakistani terrorists and state actors that have revived the focus on cross-border terror.

India’s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani shook hands and smiled before media personnel before they sat down with their delegations for talks.

The Mathai-led Indian delegation comprises, among others, Y.K. Sinha, joint secretary in charge of Pakistan in the external affairs ministry, and Syed Akbaruddin, the ministry’s spokesperson.

The Pakistani delegation, led by Jilani, comprises senior officials of its foreign office.

In the opening round of talks, the two sides reviewed the dialogue process and focused on ways to bolster peace and security, including confidence-building measures aimed at easing trade and travel between the two countries. The two sides will also be discussing Jammu and Kashmir and promotion of friendly exchanges.

The agenda of the foreign secretary talks had been fixed well in advance, but terrorism has climbed to the top of the agenda in the wake of the disclosures made by Jindal, alias Zabiuddin Ansari, an Indian 26/11 plotter with suspected links to Pakistani militants and Pakistani state actors.

At the talks, India is expected to share a dossier on Jindal, including a copy of his passport and identity card, said informed sources.

India is expected to ask Pakistan to find out how the Pakistani passport and Pakistan’s domestic identity cards issued to Jundal in the name of Riyasat Ali.

Jindal’s passport shows his present and permanent address in Pakistan and his visa for Saudi Arabia had been also issued on the Pakistani passport. Islamabad has been in denial, with Interior Minister Rehman Malik calling Jindal’s passport fake.

India is likely to give Pakistan Jindal’s Pakistani contacts who helped him plan the 26/11 terror strike and renew demand for providing voice samples of key 26/11 accused, including LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and the LeT operational commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram has pressed Pakistan to admit facts relating to Jindal having set up a “control room” in Karachi and having trained the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai in November 2008.

Chidambaram also underlined that the disclosures made by Jindal, who was arrested here June 21 after being deported from Saudi Arabia, point to the involvement of Pakistani state actors in the carnage that left 166 dead

Amid these stunning disclosures, there are little prospects of a breakthrough on key issues that bedevil ties between the two prickly neighbours.

However, informed sources said there may be some movement on the release of Indian and Pakistani prisoners in each other’s territory in the backdrop of Islamabad’s recent perceived flip-flop over the released of death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh.

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