Joint Indo-Pak efforts needed for prosperity: Malik
* Interior minister asks India to surface evidence, if any, against Hafeez Saeed
NEW DELHI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday there is a growing interaction between Pakistan and India and their joint efforts in eliminating the menace of terrorism would help bring peace and stability in the region.
“Both sides are facing scourge of terrorism and extremism and suffered financial as well as precious human lives loss and it is the time that we should make efforts for peace and root out the menace of terrorism to ensure secure atmosphere for the coming generations,” the minister said at a reception hosted in his honour by Confederation of Indian Bar President Pravin H Parekh.
Malik said Pakistan’s relations with India are improving and added it was now necessary to forget the “dark days”. He said the journey towards peace is progressing very well “and especially with the new visa regime, it will bring a lot of good for Pakistan”.
“Let us not create any negativity. We should think positive and let our ties become more and more strong,” he added.
The minister said, “Pakistan is serious about eliminating the menace of terrorism and condemned all kinds of terrorism. The perpetuators of Bombay blasts would be brought to justice as trial of seven accused is continuing in Pakistani courts.”
He said that justice would be done and those responsible for disturbing peace would be brought to justice through strong evidence.
The minister said authorities had arrested Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed three times but the courts had to grant him bail as no evidence was available against him.
“If India has strong evidence against Hafiz Saeed for his alleged involvement in Bombay attacks, I would order his arrest immediately before leaving India,” he said.
He said that a judicial commission from Pakistan is required to come to India to cross examine the evidence.
Malik said that he had a “message of peace and love from the children, women and men, old and young of Pakistan for the people of India”.
Regarding new visa regime, he said it was an achievement of both Pakistani and Indian governments, which continued their efforts to achieve the goal.
The minister said there were so many restrictions and formalities in the visa system and “I appreciate leaderships of both the countries for their interest in new visa regime and to strengthen the bilateral ties”.
Malik said to facilitate Indian nationals at Wagah, the government of Pakistan has provided enhanced facilities such as increase in number of immigration and customs counters, setting up of a dispensary, branch of a bank and a complimentary drive from Wagah to Lahore for travellers.
“The time has come to forget past, we need to move forward for peace and prosperity and make joint efforts against terrorism and remove all hurdles in the way of our friendship.”
Earlier, Malik met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discussed matters of mutual interests.
The minister said it was a good meeting in which he conveyed sentiments of the people of Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to the Indian premier.
Malik also held separate meetings with Indian opposition leader Sushma Swaraj and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon. He said he discussed matters of mutual interests, including exchange of parliamentary delegations, and security in the region. app