Indo-Pak Home Secretaries to meet tomorrow

New Delhi: Setting a positive tone for Home Secretary-level meeting here, Pakistan Interior Secretary Chaudhary Qamar Zaman on Sunday said such efforts would enhance peaceful relations between the two neighbours and that his side would look for an easier and faster visa regime.

Zaman, who is leading a six-member delegation for the two-day talks with Home Secretary G K Pillai from tomorrow, said his meeting was aimed at promoting and strengthening peace between the two neighbours.

"Such efforts between the two sides would enhance peaceful relations and promote people-to-people contact," Zaman told reporters at the Attari-Wagah border before flying to Delhi.

"The entire country has appreciated this gesture of Hon`ble Prime Minister of India," he said referring to the invitation extended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to watch the Indo-Pak World Cup semi-final in Mohali on March 30. Gilani has accepted Singh`s invitation.

Pakistan is also hoping to make some progress with India on easing the visa regime.

"We will be talking to our counterparts in New Delhi about how to make travel easier for the common man. One of the issues we intend to discuss is the visa issue between the two countries and how to make it easier and faster so that the common man gets the benefit out of it," he said.

Pillai and Zaman will meet in the shadow of a summit meeting between the two sides on the margins of the cricket encounter in Mohali.

No major breakthrough is expected in the official- level talks being held after a gap of nine months, officials here say but they expect "ice may be broken" for the resumption of substantial dialogue later.

The Home Secretaries will deliberate on a wide range of issues, including Islamabad`s reluctance in co-operating fully in bringing to justice the perpetrators of 26/11 attacks.

"Pakistan`s lack of sincerity in cooperating with India in any anti-terror initiatives could be the reason behind little enthusiasm on the part of Indian security establishment towards the talks," an official said.

The prosecution`s attempt in Pakistan to bring the 26/11 guilty to justice "has not moved an inch" and India`s request for providing the voice samples of the handlers of the attackers has fallen on deaf ears.

When Home Minister P Chidambaram had asked for action against the 26/11 perpetrators and voice samples of handlers of the attackers during his Islamabad visit last year, his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik told him that "you would not be disappointed by our response."

But nine months down the line, there is no Pakistani response, officials point out.