Wednesday, March 22, 2006
By Iftikhar Gilani
NEW DELHI: Top investigation officials of India and Pakistan began two-day’s of technical level talks here on Tuesday for the first time in 17 years.
A four-member Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team, led by its Director General Tariq Pervez, held talks with Indian counterparts in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). CBI’s Director Vijay Shankar led the Indian delegation. A statement issued by CBI headquarters said the deliberations focused on institutionalising cooperation in tackling human trafficking and counterfeit currency. Both sides also discussed the possibility of appointment of nodal officers in both countries for quick exchange of information on criminal matters.
During the meeting, both agencies also discussed the possibility of the formation of a SAARCPOL (SAARC Police) on the pattern of EUROPOL, that fights cross-border crime in Europe. Both sides also took up issues relating to immigration and Interpol matters.
Besides Shanker, the Indian side includes an additional director, joint director (policy) and deputy director (coordination) of the CBI, representatives of the Home and External Affairs Ministries, and officials from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and Narcotics Control Bureau. The meeting is a follow up of the home secretary-level talks held in August 2005. The major investigation agencies of the two countries last held talks in 1989 in Islamabad. India has been pressing for handing over underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, declared a global terrorist, and five hijackers of the Indian Airlines plane in 1999. But, Pakistan has denied Indian allegations that Ibrahim is in Pakistan. Agencies add: India and Pakistan have also agreed to set up a joint task force to protect the wild life. The agreement was made in a Working Group meeting between the joint environment secretaries of Pakistan and India held at Islamabad on Tuesday. The Pakistani delegation was headed by Joint Environment Secretary Khizer Hayat whereas the Indian delegation was led by Sudiya Menghal.
Source: Daily Times, Pakistan