Defence experts give mixed opinion on Rehman Malik's India visit

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 14, 2012 11:50 hrs

Former Indian army official, Lieutenant General (Retd.) PN Hoon, on Friday appreciated the government's decision to invite Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik to India.

"I think it's a very good thing that we have started a process whereby we can try and meet each other and open up our borders and I think that the things they have agreed to or are about to agree, anyone who is above 65 years of age, he can on arrival take a visa instead of three states, he can visit five states, places. It is very good thing that we have started," he said.

Meanwhile, Bharat Verma, the editor of Indian Defence Review, said such meeting between the two sides would not improve the relations, as Pakistan has adopted a different authoritarian Islamic fundamentalist trend, which is against India's policy.

"First thing is, Rehman Malik carries no authority coming from Pakistan because it is the Pakistan army and the ISI that control. He is just a front. Second, Rehman Malik has, if you go back into his history, he has been anti-India in a very big way. Third, to invite him at this stage when you are paying homage to the martyrs of 13th December attack on Parliament and to have Rehman Malik here is itself very derogatory, degrading and against the self-respect of the country," said Verma.

"But importantly, Rehman Malik brings with him nothing that can resolve any issue because 65 years, people-to-people contacts have been going on. No improvements in relationships are possible because Pakistan has taken a totally a different authoritarian Islamic fundamentalist trends, which are contradictory to India's policy," he added.

Rehman Malik will be arriving on a three-day visit to India beginning today on the invitation of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Minister of State for Home R.P.N. Singh will be receiving the Pakistan delegation at the airport.

The official delegation accompanying the Pakistan Interior Minister includes Members from Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Federal Administration and High Commission of Pakistan in India.

The official engagements will commence on December 14, 2012 afternoon itself which will include Launch of Revised Visa Agreement.

The agenda also includes counter terrorism border management, fake Indian Currency Notes and cooperation among security and investigation agencies.

The Indian delegation led by Shinde will include R.P.N. Singh, senior officials from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and security agencies.

The visiting Minister is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, National Security Adviser Shri Shiv Shankar Menon and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, on December 15. (ANI)

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