New Delhi: The first day of the much-awaited two-day talks between the Home Secretaries of India and Pakistan ended here today in which a host of issues covering deportation of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, cross-border terrorism and progress in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack trial, among others, were discussed.
After the meeting Pakistan High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik described the talks positive. Union Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai also shared the same sentiments, saying the talks were indeed positive and things are now moving in the right direction. The issues related to handing over voice samples of the seven Mumbai terror attack Â masterminds, including Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Zarar Shar and Abu-al-Qama, among others, who are in Pakistani jails, dismantling of terror camps across the border, release of each otherâ€™s prisoners and fishermen, narcotics control and inflow of fake Indian currency notes from the other side, were also reportedly raised by Mr Pillai with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Qamar Zaman. According to sources, the Pakistani officials assured the Indian delegation that they would look into the possibility of challenging a court ruling that prevented Islamabad from sharing with New Delhivoice samples of those being prosecuted for the 26/11 attack. Another key issue debated at the meeting was the dates and procedures for a judicial commission from Pakistan to visit India and interview some of the witnesses in the Mumbai attack. India has already agreed to allow a Pakistani team to question them. India is yet to get any response to it though New Delhi conveyed to Islamabad that a similar Commission could be sent by Pakistan to India to question the investigating officer of the 26/11 probe and the judge of the trial court. Both sides were represented by 17 members each and Mr Malik Â also participated in the talks. The Indian side was also represented by internal security Special Secretary U K Bansal and National Investigation Agency chief S C Sinha. The talks will continue tomorrow. Tough visa rules is part of the agenda for the talks, and the sources said the officials of the two countries would discuss ways to ease travel restrictions and enhance people-to-people contact.