New Delhi, Nov. 15: The joint anti-terror mechanism agreed between Manmohan Singh and Pervez Musharraf in Havana was fleshed out today with India and Pakistan putting in place a three-member set-up in each country.
At the end of a two-day meeting of the foreign secretaries of the two countries, it was announced that the committees’ mandate would be to consider counter-terrorism measures through regular sharing of information.
The two sides also reached an agreement on cutting nuclear risks, and there were signs of progress on Siachen, though possibly not to the extent Pakistan had claimed, saying an accord was days away.
During the talks, Pakistan was given information about cross-border links between terror groups operating in the two countries. But no evidence could be provided about the Mumbai train blasts as, India explained, a chargesheet was yet to be filed in a court.
It said written information was offered to Islamabad in other cases like the 2005 pre-Diwali bombings in Delhi and the Varanasi explosions.
Pakistan foreign secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan admitted “some material” was given, but took strong exception to accusations of Pakistani involvement in the Mumbai blasts.
“Some material has been given to us…. But it does not relate to the Mumbai blasts.”
At a separate news conference, his Indian counterpart Shiv Shankar Menon said: “We hope the (anti-terror) mechanism makes progress.”
The committees will be headed by K.C. Singh, additional secretary in the foreign ministry, and his Pakistani counterpart Tariq Osman Haider.
Menon said Islamabad was asked to put an end to the activities of terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba.
It would have been embarrassing for the Pakistani team that when it was discussing anti-terror measures, a top official admitted having been a Lashkar member. Parliamentary secretary for defence Tanveer Hussain said in the National Assembly: “I admit… I was a member of the LeT.”