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Pakistan, India vow joint terror fight

26 May, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Friday pledged to fight terrorism together, calling it "a continuing threat to peace and security" and a block to the full establishment of normal relations.

The announcement came after two-day talks between the home and interior secretaries of the two countries. The Pakistan delegation was led by Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddiq Akbar, while Indian Home Secretary Shri Raj Kumar Singh led his side. The two countries decided that India's CBI and Pakistan's FIA will schedule a meeting at an early date to work out the technical details on the issues of human trafficking, counterfeit currency, cybercrimes and Red Notices (RNs).

According to a joint statement issued on the second day of talks, both sides welcomed the finalisation of visa agreement and agreed to sign it at an early date. The Pakistan side said that some internal approvals were under process and the agreement will be signed once they were in place. It was agreed that terrorism posed a continuing threat to peace and security and full normalisation of bilateral relations, and the two sides reiterated firm and undiluted commitment of the two countries to fight and eliminate this scourge in all its forms and manifestations and bring those responsible for such crimes to justice.

The Pakistan side gave an update on the ongoing trial and investigation in Pakistan on the Mumbai terror attacks. Pakistan side noted that it had agreed in principle to receive a judicial commission from India on the issue. Modalities, mandate and composition of the commission will be worked out through diplomatic channels. Indian delegation provided information on the ongoing Samjhota Express blast case investigation. It said updated information will be shared with Pakistan when the investigation was completed.

Both the sides stressed the need to fully implement the understanding reached during the previous home/interior secretary talks in March 2011 so that fishermen and the civilian prisoners who have completed their sentences, and whose nationality status has been confirmed by the respective governments and whose travel documents have been received, are released without delay. It was also agreed that those fishermen who have completed their sentences will be released by both sides within three months along with their boats, except where the boats have been lost, damaged or confiscated by the courts.

It was decided that those prisoners whose nationality status could not be confirmed, would be transferred to charitable institutions in India and Pakistan pending confirmation of their nationality. The delegations also agreed on the need for implementing the 2008 Consular Agreement in letter and spirit. In order to strengthen mutual cooperation in criminal matters, the two sides agreed in principle to initiate negotiations on a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).

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