‘India cannot take `eyes off the ball` on 26/11’
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Last Updated: Monday, July 25, 2011, 16:49
  
New Delhi: On the eve of talks between Indo- Pak Foreign Ministers, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said that India cannot take its "eyes of the ball" on the issue of 26/11 terror attacks as Pakistan has "done very little" to bring to justice those behind the carnage.

The Home Minister also ruled out that there was any disconnect between his ministry and Minister of External Affairs over the policy being pursued with Pakistan.

"We support engagement with Pakistan and we should engage them in as many areas as possible...At the same time we emphasise that on the issue of 26/11, we cannot take our eyes off the ball," Chidambaram said to a news agency.

"We have to keep our focus on 26/11 and unfinished work related to it i.e. to bring perpetrators, handlers and controllers behind these terror attacks to justice. I cannot take my eyes off that ball."

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and newly- appointed Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar will hold day-long talks on Wednesday during which a host of key issues including Jammu and Kashmir, India's concerns over terror, trade, confidence-building measures and steps to enhance people-to-people contacts are expected to be discussed.

It will be preceded by a meeting of Foreign Secretaries of the two countries tomorrow during which the agenda for ministerial meeting will be finalised.

Chidambaram said he has made it clear to his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik that Islamabad is "morally and legally bound to bring the perpetrators, the handlers and the controllers before the court of law."

Noting that in the 26/11 probe case, Pakistan arrested five-six people of which only two were "real players and rest are foot-soldiers", he said there are many others who are outside who need to be arrested and interrogated. "And if there is any evidence, they need to be chargesheeted," he said.

Asked about his meetings with Malik and if Pakistan was serious in taking action in 26/11 case, the Home Minister said "I have to take whatever he says at face value and impress upon him that these assurances have been given many times in the past but there is actually no progress....".

On his equation with Malik, who never misses any opportunity to reach out to him, Chidamabaram said "I have a very formal and correct relationship with him. He is my counterpart in Pakistan."

PTI


First Published: Monday, July 25, 2011, 16:49


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