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Pakistan briefs Clinton on 26/11 probe

By Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
July 23, 2009 20:20 IST
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Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday briefed United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Pakistan's investigation into the Mumbai terror attacks and the trial of suspects linked to the incident.

Qureshi informed Clinton about the status of the Pakistani probe during a meeting on the sidelines of the Association of South East Asian Nations Regional Forum meeting at Phuket in Thailand, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told mediapersons.

The trial of five Lashker-e-Tayiba operatives arrested by Pakistani security agencies on suspicion of involvement in the Mumbai incident also figured in the talks, he said in response to a question.

"The Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State held a very productive meeting. He briefed her on the India-Pakistan talks and the meetings between the Foreign Secretaries and Prime Ministers in Egypt," Basit said.

Qureshi also spoke to Clinton on Pakistan's ideas about taking the peace process with India forward, he added.

A statement issued later by the Foreign Office said Qureshi emphasised "Pakistan's desire to have a peaceful neighbourhood."

Pakistan is committed to peace and development in Afghanistan and desires stability in the neighbouring country, he said.

Qureshi also hoped the forthcoming presidential election in Afghanistan will "usher in an era of peace and reconciliation."

The rehabilitation of thousands of people displaced by Pakistan's military operations against the Taliban also figured in the discussions. Qureshi apprised Clinton of the military operation in Swat and Malakand division and said it had "succeeded in its objective due to popular support."

The statement quoted Clinton as appreciating the "resolute action Pakistan is taking against militants and terrorists." She said the US will continue to assist Pakistan's efforts for the reconstruction of affected areas. Clinton welcomed recent contacts between Pakistan and India, saying both countries need to resolve their differences peacefully.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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