Pakistan said on Thursday that it looked forward to a result-oriented engagement with India, and is likely to announce the decision to accept the Indian offer of Foreign Secretary-level talks in the next couple of days.
Unnamed Foreign Office officials have told Pakistani media that once the political leadership gave the final green light, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir is likely to convey the decision directly to his Indian counterpart, Nirupama Rao, with a phone call, or through the Indian High Commission here.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said in an interview on Wednesday that Pakistan preferred to hold the talks on February 25.
At a regular Foreign Office briefing on Thursday, spokesman Abdul Basit declined to confirm that Pakistan had accepted the Indian offer.
“[The Foreign Office] have submitted our recommendations to the political leadership and it is for them to respond. Let us wait and see,” he said.
However, in further indication that Pakistan is readying for the talks, the spokesman expressed the hope that the talks would be result-oriented and lead to the resumption of the composite dialogue process. He also indicated, as the Foreign Minister said in his interview, that this was not a pre-condition by Pakistan.
“Let us not get into specifics. It is important that there are no pre-conditions from either side. Pakistan strongly believes that with pre-conditions there can be no dialogue. We look forward to engaging in a result oriented process and hope that the two sides can resolve all issues.”
Pakistan would raise all issues “important from our perspective,” the spokesman said, when asked if the issue of the alleged Indian hand in Balochistan would also be on the table.