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Rehman Malik stresses on improving Indo-Pak political ties

June 16, 2011 - Astana (Kazakhstan)

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik has urged for effective communication between New Delhi and Islamabad in a bid to strengthen relations between both the nations, and said it is important that both countries should contribute equally to improve political and cultural ties.

Malik said this exclusively to Asian News International in an interview in Astana, Kazakhstan, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meet in the country.

The SCO focuses on areas like security, counter militancy, narco-trafficking, trans-border organized crimes among others.

Talking over improving relations between India and Pakistan Malik said that it is important to indulge in strategic communication.

"The way we are working, the way meetings have started, they should continue, the communication should continue in the same manner and more we (Indian and Pakistani counterparts) meet, more we discuss, more we resolve issues," Malik said.

"The difficult situation and tension is because of the issues. Let us first list out the issues and divide it into three portions -- a) which are doable immediately, b) which could be resolved by immediate talks, conversations and dialogue, and c )which are the difficult ones, let us take it forward but let us also keep talking on that. I think there is nothing impossible in the world as long as there is a will from both sides," said Malik.

Expressing grief over the Mumbai attacks in 2008 that killed over 166 people, Malik said that Pakistan had the same pain, same agony what the Indian friends, sisters and brothers had during the 26/11 Mumbai attack.

"As far as you know the Bombay (Mumbai) blast, trust me the entire Pakistani nation was totally not only grieved but we had the same pain, same agony what the Indian friends, sisters and brothers had. Now what is important is to take action; we have called this case as very fast track, now we are waiting for the information and response from India on our Judicial Commission. The moment it is done I tell you that it is going to be, in fact concluded very soon," said Malik.

He also added that terrorism is a blot on both nations and it is imperative for both nations to co-operate with each other.

"The pain of terrorism is same; blood is red, the families feel the same way.

So therefore, we have to fight together against this menace of terrorism and also resolve our issues and let us see a free movement, good friendship, smile on the faces and there is no breach of border and we talk like friends. That is what is required," said Malik.

Terming American citizen David Headley as a "double-agent", he said that detailed investigations should be carried out.

On May 23, American citizen David Headley's long-awaited testimony had tied Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) to the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people.

He had admitted scouting targets for the Mumbai attacks by Pakistani militants, testified in a Chicago court that the plot was hatched with the cooperation of at least one Pakistani intelligence official and a navy frogman.

Headley's trial comes at a time of growing discord in the US about Pakistan's commitment to fight terrorism after the US discovered and killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a compound near Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. By Praful Kumar Singh


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