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Updated: February 7, 2010 22:52 IST

India proposes two dates this month for talks

Sandeep Dikshit
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In this file photo, Indian and Pakistani flags are ceremonially lowered at the Wagah border post. India has propsed February 18 and 25 as possible dates for Foreign-Secretary level talks with Pakistan.
AP In this file photo, Indian and Pakistani flags are ceremonially lowered at the Wagah border post. India has propsed February 18 and 25 as possible dates for Foreign-Secretary level talks with Pakistan.

Having “made its point” by not engaging with Pakistan for over 14 months, India has offered two dates this month — February 18 and 25 — for Foreign Secretary-level talks here.

India is open to discussing all issues, including Balochistan, but its sole focus will be on flagging its concerns on terror acts planned and executed from Pakistan, said senior Government sources.

Seeking to set the record straight following various interpretations on India’s offer for talks, the sources said the reopening of dialogue should not be seen as resumption of the composite dialogue. “We do not want to get into semantics…Pakistan has taken some steps and we have made our point which has been accepted by the international community. To indefinitely prolong tension is not good and neither does not talking contribute to decreasing tension,” they said.

“Dialogue is the bottom line. Composite dialogue had a certain format. There was involvement of many arms of the Government. The coming talks are not part of that. This dialogue is to revive the bilateral relationship and the centrepiece of the talks from our side will be terror,” they added.

The sources underlined the continuing need to flag concerns regarding the existence of the large infrastructure of terror.

Pakistan should also “expeditiously conclude” investigations in a transparent manner and unveil the larger conspiracy behind the Mumbai attacks.

“No relationship can remain static. We haven’t shut the door to dialogue but for it to be meaningful, talks will have to address our concerns. We are also prepared to discuss all issues of concern,” said the sources, while describing the Indian offer as a “very reasonable approach.”

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