Canada `pressing' India for Pakistan intelligence
Toronto, Dec 13 (IANS) Canada has reportedly sought intelligence inputs from India on Pakistan-based militant groups supporting insurgents fighting its forces in Afghanistan.
Canada, which has a 2,500-strong force battling insurgents in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, has so far lost 100 men. Pakistan has been blamed as the source of the insurgents fighting the Canadians.
Though visiting Indian Secretary (West) Nalin Surie discussed bilateral issues with Canadian officials in Ottawa Friday, Indian sources refused to confirm whether the issue of Pakistan-specific intelligence was discussed by the two sides.
``The two sides held two rounds of discussions on subjects of mutual interests. These included cooperation in energy, including nuclear, and our bilateral trade which is not commensurate with the potential,'' the sources said.
But Canada's Canwest news agency reported that the Indian official was in Ottawa to discuss the terrorist attacks on Mumbai, in particular Pakistan's possible involvement in them.
The news agency quoted Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay as saying that Canada was indeed seeking information from India about al-Qaeda and Taliban presence in Pakistan.
``We will be pressing them (Indians). They have a very unique perspective,'' MacKay was quoted as saying.
The minister also said his meetings in recent months with India's national security adviser have proved to be very useful.
Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon was also in Washington Friday to meet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who has just returned from New Delhi.
The Canadians insist that their mission in Afghanistan will end in Dec 2011.
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