Operationalisation of the new India-Pakistan agreement will be delayed as New Delhi has asked Islamabad to postpone the proposed two-day visit of its Interior Minister Rehman Malik. Mr. Malik was supposed to reach India on November 22.
Though senior Ministry of Home Affairs officials said the busy schedule of Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is also the Leader of the House in Lok Sabha, ahead of Parliament’s winter session was the main reason behind the decision, sources in the government pointed out that Pakistan’s reluctance to punish those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks was behind this veiled snub. Significantly, the proposed visit would have been close to the fourth anniversary of the 26/11 attack. As a result, India was not keen on hosting Mr. Malik as it could have given the Opposition more ammunition to target the Congress-led UPA government, the sources said.
India has conveyed to Pakistan, through diplomatic channels, its inability to host Mr. Malik later this week and has not yet suggested new dates for the proposed visit.
Notably, Mr. Malik had conveyed his willingness to visit New Delhi when he met Mr. Shinde on the sidelines of the Interpol meeting in Rome two weeks back.
New Delhi wants Islamabad to share voice samples of handlers of the terrorists who carried out the attacks.