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Indo-Pak talks on Terrorism and Drug Trafficking

Indo-Pak talks on Terrorism and Drug Trafficking to begin tomorrow

NEW DELHI, Aug 28 (APP): With Pakistan, intending to raise the issue of Pakistani prisoners languishing in Indian jails, two day Indo-Pak talks on Terrorism and Drug Trafficking will begin here tomorrow. Pakistan's side will be led by Secretary (Interior) Syed Kamal Shah, who is leading an eleven-member delegation at the parleys. While Indian delegation will be headed by Home Secretary V K Duggal. Earlier on his arrival here yesterday, Kamal Shah said that he had come with a "very positive mind" to attend the talks on Terrorism and Drug Trafficking within the framework of Composite Dialogue.

"We will also try to meet Pakistani prisoners in Indian Jails during the stay", he told APP's Special Correspondent adding "it will be our effort to ensure their earliest release". In response to a question, Kamal Shah said Pakistani side wants to propose to India that innocent citizens who commit minor visa violations or cross the border inadvertently being unaware of the laws, are released by both the sides within a couple of days after necessary verification and investigation. Expressing identical sentiments, Indian Home Secretary V K Duggal said "given the current climate (in Indo-Pak ties), India is very hopeful that the talks will be very positive."

Leader of Pakistan's delegation said "usually the agenda (of Indo-Pak Home Secretary level talks) is terrorism and drug trafficking" but the issue of Pakistani prisoners, both civilian and fishermen languishing in Indian jails, he expressed would be raised at the talks as Indian prisoners are also in Pakistani jails. To a question, the Interior Secretary said, "we hope and we are confident that it will be a positive meeting. It will be useful to both the countries and their people", he added.

Duggal also voiced the hope that both sides would move forward on all issues pertaining to terrorism and narcotics control. "I am looking forward to the two-day talks", he added. The progress made at the previous round of talks on Terrorism and Drug Trafficking, held in August last in Islamabad will also be reviewed, he said adding, a Joint Statement is likely to be issued at the conclusion of the parleys.

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