Malik arrives today on 3-day visit

Pakistan's Interior Minister Abdul Rehman Malik is arriving in India on Friday on a much-requested visit during which he will hold talks with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and the two of them will join to formally operationalise the new, relaxed visa rules that the two countries had agreed to in September.

Malik will be in India for three days he leaves on Sunday during which he will make a courtesy call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and would also meet NSA Shivshankar Menon and the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. A request to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was, however, turned down.

Shinde and Malik would be discussing counter-terrorism, border management, circulation of fake Indian currency notes and cooperation amongst security agencies, according to a statement.

While the issue of action against the Pakistan-based masterminds of the Mumbai terror attacks is almost surely to come up during the talks, the Indian establishment was not entirely sure on how much to corner Pakistan on this. New Delhi has been asking for voice samples of these handlers, so that those can be matched with the voices on the telephone calls intercepted during the attacks, but Pakistan has been saying that its laws do not allow it do so.

Pakistan is likely to renew its request to send another judicial commission to India to examine witnesses of the 26/11 attacks. Malik's visit comes less than a month after India hanged Ajmal Kasab, who was convicted and sentenced to death after an elaborate judicial process over four years.

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