Quick 26/11 trial in Pakistan’s interest: Khar

July 27th, 2011 - 10:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) A quick trial in the Mumbai terror attack case is in Pakistan’s interest, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Wednesday, but questioned the slow pace in probing the Samjhauta Express blast in which many Pakistani nationals were killed.

“Today if there is a country that deals with terrorism on a daily basis and whose people are affected on an hourly basis, it’s Pakistan,” Khar told CNN-IBN in an interview when asked about the 26/11 trial in Pakistan.

“It’s in Pakistan’s interest to deal with this head on. Trials are judicial processes, which takes time and a quick trial is in Pakistan’s interest. Compared to Samjhauta Express trial, this trial has made much progress,” she noted.

Pakistani national Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone gunman captured alive during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, has been sentenced to death. The Nov 26-29, 2008 mayhem had killed 166 people, including some foreigners, and injured hundreds.

Khar said a Pakistani judicial commission “is due to visit India and that will be a major step in this process going forward.” The commission will interview the witnesses to the 26/11 attack

In the Samjhauta Express train blast, over 60 people, mostly Pakistanis were killed in 2007. In June, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet against Swami Assemanand along with four other accused.

India has asked Pakistan to hand over Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Sayeed, who is wanted in the Mumbai terror attack.

Khar said this matter was being “dealt with by the interior ministry”.

“They have discussed it in greater detail few days back and I don’t want to waste more time on that,” she said on Sayeed.

The 34-year-old foreign minister also tried to dispel the notion that as she was young she was inexperienced.

“If experience is to be measured by age I may not be the oldest person around. I’ve been twice elected and served two terms in the executive. It’s a pleasure to serve as a junior minister in this position where you get time to learn on the job,” said Pakistan’s youngest and first woman foreign minister.

On her meeting with Hurriyat leaders Tuesday, which India has frowned on, she said that one should not hold things against each other on which there is a “stated position”.

“We should move forward. It’s Pakistan’s stated position and that is based on the UN resolution. What I’ve received from your prime minister (Manmohan Singh) and foreign minister (S.M. Krishna) in New Delhi, this reassures me that both the countries are consistent in taking this relationship to a new level. I’m more confident about that,” Khar said.

“If we are taking small steps today, we can build more trust and confidence tomorrow. I got reciprocity in the views from your leaders that I brought from our leadership. I’ll go with the reciprocity I got from your people that is reflected in our people. So that’s to me a confidence-building measure.”

“.. the momentum takes time to pick up. We talked about change in mindsets and that’s important. This relationship is plagued by historical baggage, which has been too burdensome. The baggage contains few issues very difficult to address and few are easier to deal with.

“So it’s important to get the momentum in talks. You should have a workable relationship. A condition of trust is a prerequisite for talks,” she added.

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