India,Pak to discuss anti-terror steps in Islamabad tomorrow

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New Delhi, Jun 23 (UNI) India and Pakistan will hold discussions in Islamabad tomorrow on countering terrorism, an issue which has hamstrung relations between the two countries for decades.

This will be the first such meeting India will be holding with the newly-elected civilian government in Pakistan although the issue of terrorism was discussed at the Foreign Ministerial talks between the two countries on May 21 in Islamabad.

At the May 21 meeting between the two Foreign Ministers, both sides ''re-emphasised the need for effective steps for complete elimination of this menace.'' Meeting under the Joint India-Pakistan Anti-Terror Mechanism (JATM) forum, senior officials of the two countries at tomorrow's deliberations, will exchange information and intelligence and plan future cooperation against the scourge which has hit both countries hard.

This will be the third meeting of the JATM. The last meeting was held in New Delhi on October 22, 2007.

Sources said during the two days of deliberations, the two countries will share information about specific terrorist incidents in either country and discusss ways to cooperate.

The serial blasts in Jaipur that killed at least 60 people on May 13 are also expected to figure during the discussions, sources said.

The Indian delegation at the talks will be led by Mr Vivek Katju, Additional Secretary (Political and International Organizations) in the External Affairs Ministry, while the Pakistani side will be headed by Mr Masood Khalid, Additional Secretary (Asia Pacific).

The idea of the JATM was mooted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf in Cuba on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Summit (NAM) in September 2006.

UNI RB AKJ HS1654

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