NEW DELHI: India has asked Pakistan to cancel plans for interior minister Rehman Malik to visit New Delhi later this week to attend the operationalisation ceremony for the new Indo-Pak visa agreement, The Indian Express reported.
Though New Delhi has cited the coming winter session of Parliament this week since home minister Sushilkumar Shinde would be busy being the leader of Lok Sabha, as the reason for its inability to host Malik. Though some experts suggest Islamabad’s failure to punish those involved in Mumbai 2008 appears to be the key reason.
Sources said since the fourth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack falls three days after the proposed visit of the Pakistani leader, and Home Ministry officials seem to have advised against hosting Malik.
Malik has been accused of failing to keep his promises on acting against perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack which claimed 166 lives.
Trial against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six other accused of Mumbai attacks case at a Rawalpindi court has been very ‘slow’ and New Delhi’s request for voice samples of handlers of the terrorists was yet to be acceded by Islamabad and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed continues to roam freely in Pakistan, they said.
“Under such a situation, it is not prudent to host the Pakistani Interior Minister on the eve of the fourth anniversary of 26/11 attack,” sources said.
The message was conveyed to Pakistan through diplomatic channels. India has not yet suggested new dates for Rehman’s visit.