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Pakistan Says It Will Speed-Up 26/11 Trial: Sushma Swaraj In Parliament

NDTV logo NDTV 14-12-2015 Edited by Jatin Gandhi (with inputs from agencies)

With India and Pakistan agreeing to resume dialogue, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told Parliament on Monday that "continued estrangement" between the two sides was hampering peace and prosperity in the region. Pakistan has assured India it will expedite the Mumbai terror attacks case, she said.

The case is being heard in anti-terrorism court in Islamabad.

Ms Swaraj's statement in the Rajya Sabha, on her visit to Islamabad last week, was drowned by protests led by the Congress in the Upper House. In her barely-audible address, Ms Swaraj said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed re-engagement with Pakistan with his counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Paris, leading to her visit. The two leaders had met on November 30 on the sides lines of the Climate change conference.

Ms Swaraj said in her talks with Sharif and Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad, the "two sides condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate this menace." "There we dwelt on the need for Pakistan to expedite the Mumbai terrorist attacks trial. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite its early conclusion," she said.

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"The underlying sentiment, on which I am confident that this House concurs fully, was that the continued estrangement of two neighbours was a hurdle to the realisation of our shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous region," she said.

She said there is a "sharp awareness" that principal obstacles to the growth of ties "especially terrorism", would have to be clearly and directly addressed.

Her visit, she said, will be followed by 'Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue' with Pakistan. The process will explore cooperation in trade and connectivity, people-to-people exchanges and humanitarian issues.

"The new Dialogue, we sincerely hope, marks a new beginning also for peace and development in the whole region," she said.

The National Security Advisors of the two sides had met in Bangkok on December 6. Their meeting, she told Parliament, focused on "peace and security, terrorism, tranquility along the Line of Control and Jammu and Kashmir - the state which has been most directly impacted by terrorism and violation of LOC."

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