In the midst of current chill in Indo-Pak relations, Home Minister P. Chidambaram is likely to visit Islamabad next month for attending a multilateral meeting of interior ministers of South Asia.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will discuss the issue and subject to their concurrence the Home Minister will travel to Pakistan to attend the SAARC meeting, a highly placed source said.
The SAARC Interior/Home Ministers’ conference is scheduled to be held from February 20 for three days in Islamabad.
In case Mr. Chidambaram travels to Islamabad, it would be the first Ministerial visit to Pakistan since May, 2008 when the then External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had gone for talks as part of composite dialogue. Things worsened after the Mumbai terror attack on November 26, 2008.
The third SAARC interior ministers’ conference was postponed from November 24 and 27, 2009 at the request from Bangladesh because of parliamentary polls in that country.
The meeting will be attended by ministers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and is expected to discuss regional cooperation for dealing with the menace of terrorism, narcotics and organised crime.
The first such meeting was held in Dhaka on 11 May 2006 followed at New Delhi on 25 October 2007.