Terrorism key issue in run-up to FM level talks

India is expected to press for action against LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack when Home Minister P Chidambaram meets his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik here today.

Chidambaram, who will arrive here this evening on a two-day visit to attend SAARC Interior Minister's Conference, will have a bilateral meeting with Malik at 7 p.m. local time, the sources said.

He will also meet Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at 8.15 p.m., they said.

Chidambaram, who is the first minister from India to visit Pakistan since 26/11, will seek to know the status of investigation and trial being conducted in Pakistan in the Mumbai attacks case.

The Indian side would seek to know the follow up on the 11 dossiers given to Pakistan, detailing the evidence against Saeed and others in the Mumbai attacks case.

Ahead of the visit, India gave one more dossier to Pakistan on June 18 providing further information about Saeed's role in Mumbai attacks. This was based on questioning of Pakistani-American LeT operative David Coleman Headley by a team of National Investigation Agency earlier this month.

Pakistan's Supreme Court had on May 25 set Saeed free, arguing that there was not enough evidence to keep him in prison.

This has disappointed India, which maintains that it had given ample material regarding involvement of Saeed in the Mumbai attacks and several other cases.

During his visit, Chidambaram is expected to press Pakistan to pursue the probe against Saeed by following up on the leads provided in the Indian dossiers.

He is also expected to seek voice samples of Pakistan-based "handlers" of the 10 terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008, they said. These include seven LeT operatives who are currently undergoing trial in Pakistan.

India has been demanding voice samples of the handlers whose conversations were intercepted while the attack unfolded as this will help in the investigations into the Mumbai terror attack.

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