Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that he raised issues pertaining to Indian interference in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) during his visit to India.
He made the comments soon after his arrival at Chaklala airbase on Sunday following his three-day visit to India. Malik maintained that in order to address such issues, it had been decided all intelligence be shared between the rival nations.
Pakistan has often blamed India for fostering the insurgency in Balochistan, along with involvement in terrorist attacks in K-P and Afghanistan.
“Both sides are facing the scourge of terrorism… it is time we make efforts for peace and root out the menace,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, he said an Indian delegation will arrive in Pakistan to prepare a term of reference for a visit to India by the judicial commission cross-examining the remaining witnesses in the Mumbai blasts case. He said of the 40 witnesses, 24 had already been cross-examined. The remaining will most likely be examined in January when the commission visits India.
Malik maintained he was repeatedly asked about Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) leader Hafiz Saeed during meetings with Indian leaders.
“I clearly told them that Pakistan had arrested Saeed thrice but he was bailed out by the court each time since the evidence India provided against him wasn’t strong… If they provide (stronger) evidence, we will take action,” he asserted.
Talking about the upcoming cricket series between India and Pakistan, the minister said that while the Indian government had earlier announce 300 visas for Pakistani cricket fans, upon his request Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde agreed to remove the limit altogether.
Terming his visit as ‘good’, Malik said relations with India were improving and insisted it was necessary to forget ‘dark days’ in the past.
“We need to move forward for peace and prosperity and remove all hurdles in the way of our friendship,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2012.