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India-Pakistan talks were positive: Chidambaram

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday described the recently concluded India-Pakistan Home Secretary-level talks as a “positive development.''

He was replying to a question at his monthly press conference on the two-day talks between Home Secretary G.K. Pillai and Pakistan's Interior Secretary Chaudhary Qamar Zaman held here on March 28-29.

“It is a positive step. It is one among many steps that have to be taken towards resolution of disputes.”

Mr. Chidambaram brushed aside apprehensions that the Indian probe team which will visit Pakistan to gather information and evidence in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case will have limited legal jurisdiction. He said modalities for the team would be worked out taking into account existing laws.

He said Pakistan had agreed in principle to receive an Indian commission in connection with the 26/11 case.

“Modalities and procedures would have to be worked out. And when we work out the modalities and procedures, you can rest assured, that I will be mindful of the legal provisions. Obviously I cannot send a team without being mindful of the legal provisions,'' he said.

He expressed the hope that the modalities and procedures would be worked out quickly and the Indian team would be able to travel to Pakistan soon.

Replying to a question on easing the visa regime between India and Pakistan, Mr. Chidambaram said the rules had already been eased considerably.

“In the meanwhile, the joint working group will meet to explore further ways of liberalising visa procedures. These are all positive developments consistent with the Government of India's policies enunciated by the Prime Minister and we are happy to play our role in the Ministry of Home Affairs,'' he said.

On sharing with Pakistan details of the Samjhauta Express blasts investigation, Mr. Chidambaram said India had given information available till date.

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