Need more information to expedite 26/11 trial, says Pakistan

Islamabad, July 13 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his meeting in Russian city of Ufa told Indian Premier Narendra Modi that more information is required to expedite the 26/11 Mumbai attacks trial, a top diplomat from Islamabad said on Monday.

Nawaz Sharif’s key advisor on national security and foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz was quoted by Dawn Online as saying at a press briefing here that the “additional information” was required to expedite the trial of Mumbai attacks accused in Pakistan.

During Modi’s meeting with Sharif in Ufa, the Indian side reportedly sought the voice sample of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind behind the Mumbai terror attacks who is out on bail in Pakistan.

During the meeting with Modi, Aziz said, Sharif too sought information on the progress made on the Samjauta Express blast trial in India.

Aziz reiterated that the meeting between Sharif and Modi, which was held upon the Indian premier’s request, was cordial and both leaders shared a vision of having peaceful, neighbourly relations between Pakistan and India in order to create the necessary space in which both countries can focus on the economic welfare of their people.

He added that the July 10 meeting achieved one major objective — reducing tensions in order to create an environment for meaningful talks on all issues significant for both countries.

“Our country and our region have several challenges ranging from outstanding issues like Kashmir to terrorism to poverty and low human development,” Aziz said.

“People are yearning for peace so that their governments can focus on a socio-economic agenda to improve the quality of life of millions of people living in South Asia,” he added.

Aziz reiterated that the informal discussion between the two leaders was “not the formal start of a dialogue process”. However, he said, the meeting served the purpose of achieving an understanding that tensions and hostility between the two countries need to be reduced in order to engage in dialogue pertaining to bilateral issues, including Kashmir.

“We all know what those outstanding issues are,” Aziz said. “Kashmir, of course, tops the list of outstanding issues, but there are other important issues like Siachen, Sir Creek, water and interference in Pakistan.”

He said that Kashmiris have suffered for three generations.

“Their right to self determine their destiny has not been granted. Pakistan has stood by Kashmiris in their legitimate struggle. Sharif affirmed our principled position in clear and unequivocal terms during his annual speech at the UN General Assembly. We would continue to extend political, moral, and diplomatic support to our Kashmiri brethren.”

The Sharif-Modi meeting also provided an opportunity to identify areas in which the two countries could promote more cooperation in order to reduce hostility, Aziz said.

“Peace and tranquility on the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary is in the interest of both countries,” Aziz added.

The top diplomat reiterated that both sides have also agreed to revive Track II dialogue to explore ways of resolving issues that have been lingering for a long period of time and need to be resolved in order to enhance peace in the region.

According to Dawn Online, the top diplomat said that the National Security Advisers from both sides will meet in New Delhi and Islamabad to address India’s concerns regarding cross-border terrorism and Pakistan’s concerns pertaining to hostile statements made by Indian ministers as well as India’s support to insurgency in Balochistan.

 

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