Chidambaram, Malik may meet at SAARC if Pakistan desires

Chidambaram, Malik may meet at SAARC if Pakistan desires

Both Chidambaram and Malik are scheduled to arrive here for the fourth conference of the SAARC Interior/Home Ministers that began here today.

"If they (Pakistan) request, we may meet," Home Secretary R K Singh told PTI.
If the two leaders indeed meet, this will be the second one-on-one interaction between them after their first encounter in Islamabad last year on the sidelines of the last SAARC meeting of Interior/Home Ministers.

Sources said the Indian side is unlikely to place any request for the Chidambaram-Malik meeting but it would not be averse to have a dialogue if Pakistan desires so.

The two leaders may discuss the progress made in Pakistan in efforts to bring the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack to justice, existence of terror infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and continuous attempts made by militants to infiltrate across the border.

Interestingly, during the Islamabad one-on-one meeting, Chidambaram had asked Malik to provide voice samples of 26/11 accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and several handlers of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai in 2008.

Demanding action, India had also given documents related to several persons, including LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, who have been engaged in anti-India activities and currently based in Pakistan.

Malik had assured Chidambaram that Pakistan will take action on India's concern, saying "you will not be disappointed".

"But one year down the line, India is disappointed. There is no action on India's concern. There is no voice sample of any of the terrorists. Hafiz Saeed is a free man.

"Trial against Lakhvi and seven other accused in a Pakistani court was going nowhere and terrorist infrastructure is still intact in Pakistan. So, we do not expect anything positive out of any bilateral meeting between our Home Minister and Pakistan's Interior Minister," a source said.

While today's meeting was attended by immigration officials of the eight SAARC member countries, tomorrow's session will be attended by Home/Interior Secretaries.
The Ministerial meeting will take place on Saturday.

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