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Pakistan visit dependent on 26/11 probe, PM tells Malik

by fwire  Dec 15, 2012 23:31 IST

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New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik Saturday that his visit to the country was dependent on the progress in bringing to book those responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

"People ask me about Bombay (Mumbai)," Malik quoted the prime minister as saying when asked when he would visit Pakistan, an invitation that was renewed Saturday.

Malik told reporters after the meeting that the prime minister spoke about the need for progress in the Pakistani probe into the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attack that claimed 166 lives.

Malik told the prime minister that the people of his native Chakwal district in what is now Paksitani Punjab were eager to meet him.

He said the Indian prime minister enjoyed respect globally.

"If he (Manmohan Singh) does not come, people will be disappointed," Malik said earlier in the day.

Manmohan Singh was born in Gah village in Chakwal in Punjab.

Malik, who arrived Friday on a three-day visit to the country, said he explained to the prime minister the steps taken to bring to book those involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

Sources in the Prime Minister's Office described the meeting as a courtesy call and said it was very short.

They said Manmohan Singh thanked Malik for extending him the invitation of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to visit his country.

They said a substantial part of Malik's visit to India was aimed at meeting Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and operationalising the liberalised visa agreement.

Malik, who met Shinde Friday and National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon Saturday, said he had good meetings with both the Indian leaders.

Overall, very good meetings, very effective message...Whatever trust deficit was there, it was removed, he said.

He credited both Zardari and Manmohan Singh for giving a push to boost people-to-people ties between two countries.

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