External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will meet Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister’s National Security and Foreign Policy Adviser, on September 13 in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek in an attempt to clear the decks for a substantive meeting between their Prime Ministers in New York later this month.
The two leaders will try to address each other’s primary concerns to create a public atmosphere in both countries conducive to enabling another attempt at normalisation of ties. The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, in which both countries have Observer status.
Both India and Pakistan claim lack of appreciation of the other side’s concerns and so far there has been no meeting point. As a result, India has not disclosed its stand on a possible meeting between the Prime Ministers in New York this month. Pakistan, which has stressed that it is looking forward to the meeting, has at times voiced its apprehensions over the lack of a matching enthusiasm in New Delhi.
India wants Pakistan to adequately address its concerns over Lashkar e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed’s anti-India observations and his attempts to recruit youth for militant activities in Kashmir.
India alleges that Pakistani militants are enabled to make ingress into Indian territory during firing at the LoC. Talks were further hampered after a jawan was beheaded in January and five Indian soldiers were killed in Poonch last month.
Islamabad wants to re-examine proposals for additional confidence-building measures, aired when the two sides met in December last, on the conventional side to reduce recurrence of border violence.
Mr. Khurshid and Mr. Aziz are expected to pick up the thread from two discussions — held between Special Envoys Satinder Lamba and Shahryar Khan in Dubai last week and between Indian High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghavan and Mr. Aziz in Islamabad earlier this week — and enable the Prime Ministers to chart a schedule for full-fledged resumption of official-level talks.
Keywords: Yasin Bhatkal, Indian Mujahideen, Best Bakery blast, Bodh Gaya blast, Bangalore blast, Delhi High Court blast, Intelligence agencies, Line of Control, Prime Minister-level meeting, Indian soldiers attack, Pakistani troops, India-Pakistan border, Line of Control, Poonch district, Indo-Pak border, Indo-Pak talks, LoC tensions