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Indo-Pak anti-terror meet to be held in Islamabad

By Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
June 17, 2008 19:50 IST
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India and Pakistan will discuss measures to counter terrorism and exchange information to assist in investigations related to terrorist acts during a meeting in Islamabad on June 24.

The joint Anti-Terrorism Mechanism will meetĀ in IslamabadĀ for the third time after it was set up in line with a decision taken during a meeting between Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the margins of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Havana in September 2006. "The two sides will discuss various counter-terrorism measures and exchange information to assist in investigations related to terrorist acts," said a brief statement issued by Pakistan's Foreign Office on Tuesday.

The Indian team at the June 24 meeting will be headed by Vivek Katju, Additional Secretary (Political and International Organisations) in the External Affairs Ministry while the Pakistani delegation will be led by Masood Khalid, Additional Secretary (Asia and Pacific) in the Foreign Ministry.

During a meeting Islamabad in May to resume the composite dialogue process, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed their commitment to "fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations" and "re-emphasised the need for effective steps for the complete elimination of this menace".

The two sides had also agreed to continue cooperation through the Anti-Terrorism Mechanism and to hold its next meeting within two months. Countering terrorism and drug trafficking is one of the eight issues included in the composite dialogue.

During their meeting, Mukherjee and Qureshi also "reaffirmed their determination not to let terrorism impede the peace process". The first meeting of the Anti-Terrorism Mechanism was held in Islamabad on March 6, 2007 and its second meeting took place in New Delhi on October 23 the same year.

At the first meeting, the two sides discussed the parameters of the Mechanism and agreed that specific information would be exchanged through it for "helping investigations on either side related to terrorist acts" and for "prevention of violence and terrorist acts in the two countries".

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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