|Malik hints at signing of visa regime with India this month|
01 September 2012
TEHRAN: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday said that Pakistan had finalised work on the visa regime with India and hoped it would be signed during the visit of Indian external affairs minister to Pakistan this month (September).
Talking to the media here, the interior minister said Pakistan wanted friendly relations with India and in some matters it was going out-of-the-way to ensure better relations with its immediate neighbour.
Malik, who accompanied the president during his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, termed the meeting excellent and said the two countries were heading in the right direction to resolve all the outstanding issues. He, however, said it was the obligation of the two states to identify their common enemy, which did not want the two countries to be friends. “We will not allow anyone to exploit the situation,” he remarked.
The interior minister referred to many cases in the past during which allegations were levelled against Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), but in the end it transpired that in fact the people from India were responsible. He said all those responsible for creating misunderstandings between the two countries must be sttopped as the objective was to achieve peace at all costs.
Regarding the progress on Mumbai case, Malik said Pakistan had taken numerous steps to bring the culprits to justice. He, however, said the commission sent by Pakistan had demanded that the three major witnesses, including the doctor, the magistrate and the investigation officer, be allowed to be cross examined. He said once the cross-examination report was available the Pakistani courts could proceed on the matter.
The interior minister said it was a very complex situation where non-state actors, both from Pakistan and India, were involved in creating misunderstandings between the two countries. In this regard, he mentioned David Headley, whom he described as a “triple agent.”
Malik expressed the belief that frequent interaction between the leadership of the two countries would help improve the environment. Regarding Hafiz Saeed, he said all allegations against him were based on hearsay. He said he had repeatedly asked India if she had some solid evidence it should come up with that.
About the alleged Lashkar-e-Tayyaba terrorist Abu Jandal, the interior minister said he was part of a sting operation, and that such issues could only be addressed with a visible resolve of the two countries to fight terrorism. He also urged the media to verify the facts, as it could damage relationship between the two countries.
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