India, Pak back on talking table on terror, Kashmir

India, Pak back on talking table on terror, Kashmir

10 February 2011
The Daily Excelsior


NEW DELHI: More than two years after break- down of their dialogue in wake of Mumbai terror attacks, India and Pakistan today announced commencement of comprehensive talks on all outstanding issues, including terrorism as also progress on 26-11 trial there and Jammu and Kashmir, ahead of Foreign Minister S M Qureshi's visit here by July. Unveiling the road-map for such interactions, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement 'Agreed Outcome of India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary-level talks in Thimphu', saying the Home Secretaries of the two countries will hold talks on counter-terrorism, including progress on 26-11 trial in a Rawalpindi court. Official Spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said Secretary-level talks on the issues of counter-terrorism (including progress on Mumbai trial), humanitarian issues, peace and security, including CBMs, Jammu and Kashmir, promotion of friendly exchanges, Siachen and economic issues will be held ahead of the visit of Qureshi. Discussions on issues such as Wullar barrage or Tulbul navigation project and Sir Creek will be at the level of Additional Secretaries or Surveyors General. List of issues mentioned in the statement are same as in the Composite Dialogue, that was halted by India after the 2008 Mumbai attacks. 'India's position is always evolving in terms of the realities that surround us and I think the reality is that India and Pakistan cannot afford to turn their backs to each other. They must engage in dialogue which I said is serious, sustainable and comprehensive and we are satisfied with the Thimphu meeting between the two Foreign Secretaries,' Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said. The agreed statement was issued simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad today. The Ministry said 'the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan met in Thimphu on February 6, 2011, to carry forward this process. They briefed their respective Governments.' About the schedule of the meetings, the Ministry said dates will be fixed through diplomatic channels. But given the fact that the two sides have just a few months left before Qureshi's visit here, the series of interactions are expected to start shortly. 'The Foreign Minister of Pakistan will visit India by July, 2011, to review the progress in the dialogue process with his counterpart. This will be preceded by a meeting of the two Foreign Secretaries,' the MEA said. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed his 'satisfaction on the important decision taken both by Pakistan and India to resume the full spectrum of dialogue,' according to a statement issued by the Premier's office. He appreciated his Indian counterpart Dr Manmohan Singh's vision for 'opening a new chapter in the relations between the two countries which Pakistan fully reciprocates.' Following the mandate given by the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan after their meeting in Thimphu in April 2010, the Foreign Ministers of the two sides had met in Islamabad in July 2010 to review the 'current state of the bilateral relationship and discuss steps to promote trust and confidence between the two countries,' the statement said. The Foreign Secretaries met in Thimphu on February 6 to 'carry forward this process' and have briefed their respective Governments, it said. Gilani approved the outcome of the talks between the Foreign Secretaries level in Thimphu, said the statement issued by the Prime Minister's office. Gilani expressed these views during a meeting with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir who presented him a report on the talks with his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao. Gilani said the move to revive talks constitutes a 'culmination of the efforts made by him along with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during the last few months and most notably at Thimphu (in) April 2010 during the SAARC Summit.' Talking to the media, Gilani said, 'The Secretary, Foreign Affairs, has submitted a report on the dialogue between Pakistan and India at Thimphu (Bhutan). I am satisfied on this development. 'It is the result of my negotiations with Dr Manmohan Singh. This decision is exactly according to the spirit of understanding reached at during my interaction with Dr Manmohan Singh at Thimphu. I value this development and pay my compliments and good wishes to Dr Manmohan Singh.' (PTI)


[Home] [Archives 2011]
Web site maintained by Md. Sadiq & Friends