Pak Again Plays K Card, Says 'look Into Kashmir First'24 June 2010
Times of India
Islamabad: Pakistan has yet again raised the Kashmir issue as the first round of Indo-Pak foreign secretary bilateral talks began on Thursday between Nirupama Rao and her Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir. India is waiting to see whether Pakistan will walk the talk and bridge the trust deficit between the two neighbours since the Mumbai attacks in 2008. Foreign Secretaries of both India and Pakistan met in Islamabad today; the meeting is aimed at setting the tone for the next round of talks between foreign ministers in July. Efforts to rebuild trust and work out measures to counter terrorism are on agenda. Times Now said doubts have been cast already over the outcome of the ongoing meet, after Pakistan once again played the Kashmir card. Pakistan had demanded that the Kashmir issue be looked into first. The Pakistani side has also demanded reduction of Indian troops from the border. Echoing the demands of the J&K separatists, Pakistan has asked for rollback of what they call 'draconian' laws. Meanwhile Cross border Terrorism tops India's agenda, including taking action against 26-11 plotter Hafiz Saeed. India seeks to narrow the focus on terror instead of making it all inclusive. India is likely to avoid issuing a joint statement, and could stonewall references to the contentious Kashmir Issue. Pakistan on the other hand wants to broaden the scope for talks. Their agenda focuses on de-linking terror from talks. They are looking to define terrorism as a common problem, raise the issue of Indian involvement in Balochistan and try and bring Kashmir back to the table as a core concern. Pakistan is also likely to raise the issue of the 1960 Indus water treaty.