Cricket with Pak doesn't mean bowling soft on terror: India

There is no dilution of our position, clarifies MEA

New Delhi’s clarification came on a day Islamabad formally announced the schedule of the ensuing meeting of the Indo-Pak Judicial Committee on Prisoners and parlance between commerce secretaries of the two countries.

Mumbai terror attack

“It is our expectation that all those responsible for the Mumbai terrorist attack will be brought to justice expeditiously…..Clearly, there is no dilution of our position in this regard,” clarified the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The MEA issued a statement after the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party criticised the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government over the latter’s move to continue holding dialogue with Pakistan and even resume the cricketing ties with the neighbouring country, notwithstanding the revelations made by Tahawwur Hussain Rana about the neighbouring country’s spy agency Inter Services Intelligence in the November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Pakistani Foreign Office spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua said that Indo-Pak Judicial Committee on Prisoners would meet in Islamabad from April 19 to 23 to discuss ways to expedite the release of nationals of both countries being held in each other’s jails.

Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Zafar Mahmood too would be held in Islamabad from April 27 to 28. Since 2008, India-Pakistan Judicial Committee on Prisoners played a key role in speeding up release of prisoners, although the process was hindered after the 26/11 terror attacks resulted in a diplomatic chill between the two neighbours.

Pakistan on Thursday set free 89 Indian prisoners, including some fishermen, from a jail in Karachi and they would be handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah Land Custom Station on Friday. India had released 39 Pakistani prisoners on April 11 last.

New Delhi said that India’s position on the need of expeditious trial of the 26/11 accused in Pakistan was shared “by the international community at large, particularly those countries whose nationals were killed during the horrific attack” in Mumbai.

Concerns

“The Government has embarked on a dialogue process with Pakistan with the aim of normalising relations. This dialogue will naturally seek to address our terrorism related concerns, particularly with respect to the Mumbai terrorist attack,” said the MEA, adding: “This issue figured prominently in the recently concluded Home Secretary-level talks as also in various recent interactions with the Government of Pakistan.”

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