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India urges Pakistan to conduct trial of 26/11 accused in an expeditious manner

Tehran, Aug.30 (ANI): India on Thursday urged Pakistan to conduct the trail of the 26/11 accused residing in Pakistan in an expeditious manner.

Briefing media about Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s bilateral interaction with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari here this evening, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said Prime Minister Singh had reiterated New Delhi’s demand that the trial of the 26/11 accused should be carried out expeditiously.

“The Prime Minister underlined the fact that trial of 26/11accused should be carried out in an expeditious manner, and said that  action in this sphere would be a confidence building measure that would help in building public support, in building relations,” Mathai said at a press conference.

He said that in response, President Zardari had reiterated his commitment to bringing to justice those accused of terrorism, but he also explained the problems that his country faced, and highlighted that terror is a scourge from which both countries suffer.

Mathai further revealed that during the meeting held at the NAM conference venue at 6 p.m., both leaders had mentioned that processes of courts with regard to the 26/11 trial had started, but in different manners.

He confirmed that the Pakistan delegation had brought up the judicial commission issue, and added that they would like 26/11 terror strike witnesses to be interviewed.

The Indian Foreign Secretary said that the issue of Ajmal Amir Kasab and the Indian Supreme Court’s death sentence verdict delivered on Wednesday did not come up during Thursday’s bilateral interaction.

Mathai said that Dr. Singh and President Zardari recalled their last meeting in New Delhi in April, and both reiterated that having such meetings were useful and gave impetus to the ongoing dialogue process.

Mathai said that during the meeting Prime Minister Singh reiterated India desire for having a peaceful relationship with Pakistan.

He said that both leaders had agreed that a step-by-step graduated manner had the best chance of succeeding.

“They both said that patience was needed. More chance of it to succeed that way,” Mathai said.

The two leaders also spoke about the forthcoming visit of External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to Islamabad for his annual meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar to take stock of progress made in bilateral ties and to chart the course to be taken for the next round of talks.

Mathai said that both leaders expressed satisfaction and confidence that some achievements had been made on the bilateral front, and added that the two nations needed to prepare a road map for the way forward.

On bilateral trade relations, Mathai said that Prime Minister Singh and President Zardari agreed that there was vast scope for cooperation.

The foreign secretary informed that the Commerce Secretaries of the two countries are scheduled to meet soon, and added that both countries would go forward on three agreements.

He said the two leaders expressed appreciation for the good work done by the ministers and the secretaries ahead of the NAM Summit.

Mathai also said that President Zardari spoke about Pakistan being a catalyst in the region.

He said that the Pakistan President invited Prime Minister Singh to visit Pakistan. The Prime Minister thanked him, and said he would like to visit at a suitable time and looked forward to a well prepared visit with a substantive outcome.

The Foreign Secretary said that Prime Minister Singh reiterated that a stable and prosperous Pakistan would be in the interest of the region.

He said that Dr. Singh had told President Zardari that India would be willing to meet Pakistan half way.

By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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I am the Editor News, at Asian News International (ANI), Indiaís leading Multimedia News Agency and the India Correspondent for Channel News Asia, a Singapore based broadcaster.
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