Pak to allow Indian team to probe 26/11 terror case

New Delhi: After dilly dallying for months, Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to allow an Indian commission to visit the country in connection with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case probe there, setting a positive backdrop for the Prime Ministerial meeting in Mohali tomorrow.

Pakistan, which had been dragging its feet on allowing Indian investigators on its soil in relation to probing the source of the Mumbai attack, expressed its readiness during a meeting between Home Secretaries of the two countries which ended on Tuesday.

A joint statement issued at the end of the meeting reiterated the commitment of the two sides to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed the need to bring those responsible for such crimes to justice.

"The meeting was extremely positive. It had moved forward in reducing trust deficit (between the two countries) significantly," Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai said after the meeting.

The joint-statement listed various areas of cooperation including countering drug and human trafficking, streamlining visa procedure, fake currency, cyber crimes and maritime cooperation.

"Pakistan side provided updates on the ongoing trial and investigation in Pakistan on the Mumbai terror attacks.

Pakistan conveyed its readiness, in-principle, based upon the principle of comity and reciprocity, to entertain a Commission from India with respect to Mumbai terror attack investigations," the statement said.

Modalities and composition in this connection will be worked out through diplomatic channels, it said.

The dates for the visit of the judicial commission from Pakistan in connection with Mumbai terror attack trial will be conveyed by India within four to six weeks.

The National Investigation Agency in India and Pakistan`s Federal Investigation Agency will continue to cooperate in the Mumbai terror attack investigations, it said.

On the issue of providing to India the voice samples of alleged masterminds of the attack, sources said Pakistan officials have said that a lower court had rejected their case in this regard. An appeal has been filed with the High Court and a positive outcome is expected, New Delhi has been told.

The joint statement said both the sides agreed to set-up a joint working group to examine the modalities for streamlining the visa procedure/modalities and for giving a final shape to revision of the bilateral visa agreement.

Official sources said a proposal has been put forth to relax norms for issuance of visa to journalists, businessmen, senior citizens and patients coming for medical treatment.