Male: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is likely to hold a bilateral meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik in Maldives on the sidelines of a SAARC conference which began here today.
In his first direct engagement with Malik, Shinde is expected to ask him to bring to justice soon those involved in 26/11 terror attack, check infiltration into India and to dismantle terrorist infrastructure across the border, official sources said.
Shinde arrived in Maldives to attend the fifth meeting of the Interior Ministers of SAARC countries which will discuss threadbare issues like terrorism, maritime security and piracy, combating trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and mutual assistance in criminal matters.
Cyber crimes and trafficking in women and children in South Asia are other issues on the agenda.
Shinde, who took charge of the Home Ministry recently, arrived here leading a high-level delegation, including Home Secretary R K Singh, for the three-day meeting to be held in the Bandos Island Resort.
Before the Home Ministers' meeting starts tomorrow, the Home Secretaries of all SAARC countries are holding talks today to lay the ground for the last two days of the meeting.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik also arrived shortly after Shinde's arrival. This will be Shinde's first direct engagement with Malik.
On the sidelines of the SAARC meeting, Shinde is also likely to hold bilateral discussions with the Home Ministers of other SAARC countries.
The meeting of SAARC Home Ministers was preceded by meetings of immigration authorities of SAARC nations today and Home Secretaries tomorrow.
The first such meeting of Home and Interior Ministers of SAARC nations was held in Dhaka in 2006 after it was decided at the 13th SAARC summit that Home Ministers would meet annually to strengthen cooperation against terrorism.
The grouping comprises India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Afghanistan.