India has sent a fresh request to Pakistan to sign the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), which would help in exchanging information about terror-related activities between the two countries, including that on underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and several Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives reportedly staying there.
The fresh request was sent by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to Pakistan after Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the MLAT arrangement with neighbouring countries and found only Nepal and Pakistan were no that on it. While the signing of MLAT has not been possible with Nepal due to political instability there, Pakistan has chosen not to respond to earlier requests sent by India.
The last request was sent during UPA’s tenure in 2012. After that, one more proposal was sent but Pakistan has remained silent on it for two years despite an assurance that it will sign it.
The issue also came up for discussion during the Home Secretary-level talks held in Islamabad in May 2012. The MLAT is an agreement between two countries for the purpose of gathering and exchanging information in an effort to enforce public laws or criminal laws. This assistance may take the form of examining and identifying people, places and things, custodial transfers, and providing assistance with the immobilisation of the instruments of criminal activity.
Singh is scheduled to attend the home minister’s conference of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) from September 17-19 which Pakistan is also expected to attend.
The MHA, however, denied that the Home Minister would be meeting his Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of the Saarc conference in Nepal later this month.
“Unless Pakistan stops terrorism and violence, no dialogue is possible,” the home minister’s office said in a tweet.