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India to raise 26/11 terrorist attack probe status with Pakistan
Published on 19 Feb. 2010 10:42 PM IST
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India would be asking Pakistan the still unanswered questions in the probe into the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks at the forthcoming foreign secretary-level talks, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here Friday. “The home ministry would like, among other issues, for pending issues of investigation of the 26/11 terror attacks to be part of the foreign secretary talks,” Chidambaram said. He added that the government was still preparing the list of issues that will be raised at the meeting. The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are meeting in New Delhi Feb 25 - the first significant official-level meeting between the two countries after India suspended the composite dialogue following the Nov 26, 2008 terror strikes in Mumbai. India has accused Pakistan-based terror organisations of being behind the attacks, which left over 160 dead and brought Mumbai to a virtual halt for three days. The Indian government has given Pakistan seven dossiers related to the investigating, asking for clarifications on various points of investigation. India has categorically said that it has a one-point agenda for the foreign secretary-level talks, which was Pakistan’s action on tackling terror. Chidambaram also indicated that he would be attending the SAARC home ministers’ meeting in Islamabad. “If and when it is held, the present position of the government is that we are attending,” he said. The meeting scheduled this month was postponed at Nepal’s request. Meanwhile, India Friday said that it will look into the demands for facilitating return of “misguided” Sikhs who went abroad and want to return to the country after denouncing their demand for Khalistan. “I know the demand has been made and I will look into the matter. If misguided Sikh youths who have gone abroad want to come back after denouncing their demand for Khalistan, certainly we have to find the way to rehabilitate them,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters here. He said the government has shown readiness to facilitate the return of Kashmiri youths from Pakistan administered Kashmir (PoK). “Anyone who crossed over to PoK tries to infiltrate to India via Bangladesh or via Nepal on false paper. That’s an unsound approach,” he said. “And the correct ... if you denounce militancy and if you want to come over, you will be subject to identification, screening, facilitating legal travel to this part of Jammu and Kashmir, debriefing, rehabilitation and last step will be to integrating with the community,” he added. Chidambaram said the trend is not new and it has been the practice for the last several years. “In 1997-98, the Central Reserve Police Force raised a battalion of surrendered militants, the Border Security Force recruited 450 surrendered militants and in northeast even today, surrendered militants are being recruited,” he said. The home minister said in Maoist-affected states, surrendered rebels were being welcomed to come and join the mainstream. 42 terror camps in Pakistan: Antony Everybody knew that there were 42 terrorist camps “across the border”, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said here Friday and declared that it was too early to predict the outcome of the foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan next week. “It is our considered decision to talk to Pakistan. Their foreign secretary is coming. There is nothing wrong to have talks. But it is too early to say about the outcome. I am not an astrologer,” Antony said on the sidelines of the induction ceremony of the MiG 29 fighter aircraft in the Indian Navy. “Everybody knows that there 42 terrorist camps across the border. Attempts at infiltration are on increase. Terrorists are very active and it is our main concern,” he added. Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will meet her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in New Delhi on Feb 25. Talks between the two countries were suspended after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Meanwhile, army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor on Friday said Pakistan was continuing to push in militants from across the border into Jammu and Kashmir but the armed forces deployed there were capable of tackling it. “Our neighbour is continuing infiltration of militants from across the border into Jammu and Kashmir. It (infiltration) will continue. Forces are deployed in the border and they will make all efforts to stop the infiltrators there. If some militants do come in, our forces will tackle them,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an army function. Asked why infiltration was continuing despite the border passes being closed due to snowfall, he said the militants were being pushed into the border state from the South of Pir Panjal areas. On the Home Ministry’s rehabilitation plan for Kashmiri youths who want to return from Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir, the Army chief said, “I am sure the Home Minister and the Government will look at all aspects before a final decision is taken”. “A decision is taken and they are looking into it. I am sure they will take views of all ministries including the Defence Ministry and whenever a decision is taken it will be good for every one,” he added.

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