‘Pakistan won’t attend SAARC home ministers’ meet’
Islamabad: India may not be able to quiz Pakistan on progress in 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks probe at the forthcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) home ministers’ conclave in Maldives as Pakistan is expected to skip the meet following its Supreme Court strong strictures against Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
On his first official visit to the country for the conference as Union home minister from September 24-26, Sushilkumar Shinde was expected to raise terror concerns with the immediate neighbours besides meeting Malik on the sidelines of the conference to place India’s concerns over the slackness in the 26/11 probe against key handlers and perpetrators.
“It is unlikely that Pakistan would appoint another interior minister or send someone on Malik’s behalf to attend the SAARC conference, in which case India will miss the opportunity to bring up many issues concerning Pakistan in the meet,” a senior official said.
In its judgment given on Thursday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court not only ordered initiation of contempt of court proceedings against Malik for giving false statement before the court, but also asked the chairman of the Senate to disqualify him from the Senate for not being sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ‘ameen’, which is one of the qualifications for being member of Parliament of Pakistan according to its Constitution.
The court directed the Election Commission to institute legal proceedings against him for making false declaration and asked Malik to refund all monetary benefits drawn by him up during the period occupied office.
The Supreme Court had earlier suspended membership of Malik from the Senate for possessing dual nationality — of both the UK and Pakistan.