Despite the evident disinterest in New Delhi for substantive engagement with Pakistan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi remains optimistic about holding a “constructive” dialogue with his Indian counterpart in New York later this month.
At an iftar he hosted for journalists on Wednesday at the Pakistan Foreign Office, Mr. Qureshi stressed that dialogue was the only “sensible” way forward for both countries and in the interests of regional peace.
No date has been finalised for his meeting with Mr. Krishna although it is expected that the two will meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in the third week of September.
There is also no date or venue yet for the India-Pakistan foreign secretaries meeting that was to prepare the ground for the ministerial meeting.
Mr. Qureshi said New Delhi had not yet responded to Pakistan’s suggestion that the foreign secretaries could meet in Islamabad.
It seems likely that the two officials may end up holding a hurried meeting in New York just ahead of the talks between the two ministers.
“It is our desire that there should be forward movement,” Mr. Qureshi said, and Pakistan approach the talks in a “constructive” and “positive” spirit as it was keen to move forward in the interests of regional peace.
While External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said on Wednesday that India’s intention was to engage Pakistan only on terror-related issues, Mr. Qureshi said Pakistan “knows what it wants” and was prepared to present its own agenda at the talks.