No hotline between Indo-Pak home secretaries yet

The hotline between the home secretaries would have facilitated real time sharing of information on terrorist threats.

New Delhi: India and Pakistan have failed to set up a hotline between the home secretaries of the two countries that would have facilitated real time sharing of information on terrorist threats, despite signing of an agreement six months ago in this regard.

During the India-Pakistan Home/Interior Secretary-level talks held in New Delhi in March, both sides had agreed to set up the telephone connection between the two top bureaucrats "to facilitate real time information sharing with respect to terrorist threats".

"Six months down the line, there is no progress on the issue. We are keen to set up the hotline, but Pakistan has to show its willingness," a government official said.

Interestingly, setting up of the hotline was considered a major confidence-building step between India and Pakistan when the joint statement was issued after the conclusion of the two-day meeting of Home/Interior Secretaries on March 29.

"We hope that the hotline would not meet the same fate as of the visit of Pakistan Judicial Commission which keeps delaying," the official said.

As agreed in the same meeting, Pakistan has failed to convey to India as to when its judicial commission will visit here to take the statement of the magistrate, who had recorded the confession of Ajmal Kasab, to pursue the 26/11 attacks case in Pakistan.

New Delhi had agreed to a proposal of Islamabad to host the judicial commission of that country to take statements of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RV Sawant Waghule and Investigating Officer Ramesh Mahale, who have recorded the confessional statement of Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist of the 26/11 attacks.

It also wanted to take statement of the doctor who carried out the post mortem of the terrorists killed during the attack.

Islamabad has been maintaining that it is necessary to send the commission to India as part of the judicial process of the case in Pakistan and had promised at the Home
Secretary-level talks that they would do so by May 15.

"Nothing has been heard from Islamabad so far on the proposed judicial commission`s visit to India," the official said.


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