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Pakistan rejects charge of state role in Mumbai attacks

05 July, 2012

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NEW DELHI: Pakistan rejected Thursday renewed Indian charges that Pakistani "state actors" were involved in planning and coordinating the 2008 Mumbai attacks and offered a joint probe.

"I would very strongly reject any insinuation of any involvement of any state agency in acts of terrorism in India," Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani told reporters after talks with his Indian counterpart Ranjan Mathai.

The two top civil servants in their respective ministries held two days of talks in New Delhi to bolster a peace dialogue. The two sides also discussed way to promote relations in the fields of sports particularly cricket. Jalil Abbas Jilani said he has brought a message of peace and prosperity to the people of India. He said Pakistani leadership is sincere in resolving all disputes with India peacefully.

Speaking after his talks with Jilani, which focused on ways of reducing mutual distrust between the nuclear-armed South Asian rivals, Mathai stressed that bringing those guilty for the Mumbai carnage to justice "would be the biggest confidence-building measure of all".

He said India has handed over information to Pakistan side about Abu Jandal. He said the two sides discussed ways to strengthen peace and stability in the region. The Indian Foreign Secretary said he also agreed to continue talks on resolving Kashmir issue.

In Thursday's joint-statement, the diplomats said that a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan was now scheduled for September.

Text of the joint statement

During the second-round of the resumed dialogue process, the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan met in New Delhi on July 4-5, 2012 for bilateral talks on Peace and Security including CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir and Promotion of Friendly Exchanges.

The talks were held in a frank and constructive atmosphere. Both sides reiterated their desire to carry forward the dialogue process in a purposeful and result-oriented manner.

The issue of Peace and Security, including CBMs, was discussed in a comprehensive manner. Both sides emphasized the need to promote greater trust and mutual understanding through constructive dialogue.

The Foreign Secretaries reviewed the ongoing implementation of the already adopted Nuclear and Conventional CBMs. It was decided that separate meetings of the Expert Level Groups on Nuclear and Conventional CBMs will be held to discuss implementation and strengthening of the existing CBMs and suggest additional mutually acceptable steps that could build greater trust and confidence between the two countries, thereby contributing to peace and security. The dates for the meetings of Expert Level Groups will be determined through diplomatic channels.

The Foreign Secretaries noted that both countries recognize that terrorism poses a continuing threat to peace and security. They reaffirmed the strong commitment of the two countries to fight and eliminate terrorism in an effective and comprehensive manner so as to eliminate the scourge in all its forms and manifestations.

The Foreign Secretaries had a comprehensive exchange of views on the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and agreed to continue discussions in a purposeful and forward looking manner with the view to finding a peaceful solution by narrowing divergences and building convergences.

Both sides recognized the need to strengthen the existing Cross-LoC CBMs for streamlining the arrangements to facilitate travel and trade across LOC. They decided to convene a meeting of the Working Group on Cross-LoC CBMs on July 19, 2012 in Islamabad to recommend steps for strengthening and streamlining and effectively implementing the existing trade and travel arrangements and propose modalities for introducing additional cross LoC CBMs.

Both sides underlined the importance of greater people to people contacts and friendly exchanges in building a relationship of trust and friendship between the two countries. They noted that the text of a revised bilateral Visa Agreement has already been finalized and decided to work for its early signing. They emphasized the importance of greater parliamentary exchanges; promotion of cooperation in various fields including facilitating visits to Religious Shrines and cessation of hostile propaganda against each other.

The Foreign Secretaries also emphasized the need to promote media and sports contacts.

During his visit the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan will be calling on Minister of External Affairs of India, H.E. Mr. S.M. Krishna and National Security Adviser HE Mr. Shivshankar Menon.

The Foreign Secretaries will meet again in Islamabad, on a date to be decided through diplomatic channels, to prepare for the meeting of the External Affairs/Foreign Ministers in September 2012.

End.

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