Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) the details of the issues covered in the discussions held between the Union Home Minister with his Pakistani counterpart during the former's visit to Islamabad on June 26-27, 2010 coinciding with the Conference of Interior Ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries;
(b) the nature and quality of responses received thereto from Pakistani authority;
(c) the reasons/rationale, if any, behind his visit to Pakistan during July 14/15, 2010 i.e. almost within a fortnight of Home Minister's visit to Pakistan indicating the agenda for his discussion; and
(d) the outcome of his visit?
ANSWER THE MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS (SHRI S.M. KRISHNA)
(a) to (d) A statement is placed on the Table of the House.
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (A) TO (D) OF RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO.*165 REGARDING "HOME MINISTER’S VISIT TO PAKISTAN" FOR ANSWER ON 05.08.2010
(a) & (b) Home Minister visited Islamabad from June 25-27, 2010 to attend the 3rd Meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Home/Interior Ministers. During the visit, Home Minister also had bilateral meetings with Pakistan Interior Minister in which he conveyed India’s core concerns on terrorism emanating from Pakistan, especially the Mumbai terrorist attack investigations and trial. He clearly stated India’s expectation that the real perpetrators, masterminds and handlers of the horrific attack should be brought to justice. Home Minister also referred to the increased infiltration along the International Border and Line of Control from Pakistan side, which needs to be curbed. In response, Pakistan Interior Minister reiterated Pakistan’s full support in bringing the culprits responsible for Mumbai terrorist attack to justice. He briefed on the actions undertaken by Pakistan in this regard. While calling for cooperation with India to prevent terrorist attacks, he suggested establishing focal points to tackle terrorism and real time intelligence sharing. He also suggested cooperation between investigation agencies of the two countries.
(c) & (d) Prime Minister met Prime Minister of Pakistan on the margins of the SAARC Summit in Thimphu in April 2010. The two Prime Ministers agreed that relations between the two countries should be normalized, and channels of contacts should work effectively to enlarge the constituency of peace in both the countries. The Prime Ministers charged the two Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries with the responsibility of working out the modalities of restoring trust and confidence in the relationship and thus paving the way for a substantive dialogue on all issues of mutual concern.
Pursuant to the mandate given by the two Prime Ministers in Thimphu, External Affairs Minister met the Foreign Minister of Pakistan on July 15, 2010 in Islamabad. The Ministers reviewed the current state of bilateral relations and discussed steps to promote trust and confidence. As part of a step-by-step, graduated and forward looking approach to expanding dialogue to cover all issues of mutual interest and concern, EAM conveyed our willingness to have further interaction on pressing humanitarian issues, particularly early release and repatriation of prisoners and fishermen in jails in both countries; promotion of trade and commerce; streamlining and strengthening cross-LOC Confidence Building Measures for the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and greater people-to-people contacts/friendly exchanges. EAM stated that the fulfilment, in letter and spirit, of the solemn commitment given by the leaders of Pakistan, at the highest level, of not allowing territory under Pakistan’s control to be used for any terrorist activity directed against India, would be the biggest confidence building measure. In addition, EAM mentioned that any further terrorist attack on India emanating from Pakistani soil would cause immense harm to the normalization process. EAM called for credible and firm action against terrorists groups and their leaders, like the Jamaat-ud-Daawa and Hafiz Saeed, who continue to incite violence against India.
PFM assured EAM that the Government of Pakistan will do everything in its power to fulfill the commitment given by Pakistan of not allowing its territory to be used for terrorism against India. In this context, PFM also assured that the investigation in the Mumbai terrorist attack case, taking into account the additional information obtained from the recent interrogation of David Coleman Headley and provided by Home Minister during his visit to Pakistan in June 2010, would be pursued vigorously to unravel the full conspiracy and bring all the perpetrators of that heinous crime to justice.
The detailed and frank discussions held during the visit enabled both the countries to develop a better understanding of each others’ position and point of view on various issues. Despite differences of opinion on the way forward on a few issues, there was a broad understanding on a number of other issues. PFM accepted EAM’s invitation to visit Delhi at a suitable date to be decided through diplomatic channels.