Pak 26/11 trial progress encouraging: Khurshid

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid cautiously welcomed on Friday the progress in the 26/11Mumbai terror attack trial in Pakistan, saying reports reaching New Delhi suggest that evidence submitted to the court recently is "indicative of some transparency and acceptance of what has happened".

Khurshid, who was speaking to reporters on his way to Myanmar, did not elaborate but felt that this represented "little movement" towards establishing accountability for the attack. "Now we don't know how they will describe it as non-state actors or state actors but there is certainly more information which is coming through official channels," he said.

Referring to Pakistani Interior minister Rehman Malik's visit to India starting Friday, Khurshid said the Indian side will make a case for a "fast-track trial" during bilateral talks since there is "some indication that it may happen".

However, he sought to downplay expectations when asked about possible outcomes from the visit. "We should go with an open mind and with a reasonable determination to push things in a direction we want them to go. We should not really have very great expectations because there are constraints and limitations within which we operate. But nevertheless, we will push," he said. "We have a very clear-cut agenda and we will push for each item. Not necessarily that in a short visit like this we expect anything dramatic but I certainly think at the end of the visit we will see and feel little more positive than we do for the moment."

At the same, the external affairs minister was clear that the gradual forward movement so far was not enough for the Prime Minister to visit Pakistan. "My personal view is that time is too short. They are moving very fast towards elections. But it also depends on how things shape up. Every meeting, every event can lead to fresh analysis and fresh assessment. And finally, it will be the Prime Minister's call," he said.

On the possibility of any Pakistani dignitary visiting India during the upcoming bilateral cricket series, Khurshid said he had not heard of any proposal yet, but added that the Indian cricket board could take an initiative on its own.

"On the other hand, this is an opportunity which they (Pakistan) on their own side may want to partake of an opportunity of coming to India. And if there is a proposal, we will consider it appropriately," Khurshid said.

He also sought to dismiss Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's allegation that the Centre was on the verge of deciding to hand over Sir Creek to Pakistan.

"Narendra Modi must understand that give and take of this sort does not happen in 24 hours. Talks between both countries have been on for sometime. On some issues, a solution is possible and some others need to wait. We have been having a dialogue on Sir Creek too. These are issues of national interest," Khurshid said.

"Mr Modi does not know what has happened in the dialogue, we have not told him unless someone from across the border has told him. I think Mr Modi does not understand what is a dialogue. I think the word dialogue does not exist in his dictionary. He should think before he speaks and not speak only with elections on his mind. He should stop undermining national interest."

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