The wait for liberalised visa regime for India and Pakistan may prolong with India on Monday suggesting cancellation of Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s proposed visit to New Delhi on November 22-23.
Though the upcoming winter session of Parliament has been cited as the reason for India’s inability to host Malik, as Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde would be busy discharging his duty as the leader of Lok Sabha, Islamabad’s failure to bring 26/11 Mumbai attack perpetrators to justice appears to be the key reason.
Sources said Malik is widely seen as the Minister who failed to keep his promise on acting against state and non-state actors responsible for 26/11 Mumbai attack. Since the fourth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack falls just three days after Malik’s visit, Home Ministry officials seem to have advised against hosting Malik.
“Under such a sensitive situation, it is not prudent to host the Pakistan Interior Minister on the eve of the fourth anniversary of 26/11 attack. That is why a message was conveyed to Pakistan through diplomatic channels but India has not yet suggested new dates for Malik’s visit,” sources said.
Malik had expressed his willingness to visit India during his brief interaction with Shinde on the sidelines of Interpol General Assembly in Rome on November 6.