India hands over replies to 6 dossiers
Aimed at reducing the “trust deficit'' between them, India and Pakistan will embark on a set of meetings, beginning with the Foreign Secretary-level talks in Islamabad on June 24.
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, besides meeting her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir, will also call on Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, External Affairs Ministry said in a release.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Yousaf Gilani met recently in Bhutan capital Thimpu and decided to bridge the “trust deficit” between the two nations.
The Foreign Secretary-level talks are expected to set the agenda for a meeting between External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Mr. Qureshi in Islamabad on July 15.
Ms. Rao had recently drawn the contours of New Delhi's approach of engaging Islamabad. She suggested creative solutions to the issues both countries are looking at under the framework of composite dialogue and through back channel diplomacy.
Close on the heels of the Foreign Secretary-level talks, Home Minister P. Chidamabaram is scheduled to go to Islamabad for the SAARC Home Ministers' meeting on June 26. There is a likelihood of a meeting between Mr. Chidambaram and his Pakistan counterpart Rehman Malik.
Responses handed over
Meanwhile, the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan Riffat Masood was called in on Friday afternoon and handed over a set of responses to the six dossiers received from Pakistan in April on the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. It was handed over by Y.K. Sinha, Joint Secretary in-charge of Pakistan.
In the six dossiers given by it on April 25, Pakistan had asked for three Indian officials, including two magistrates and an investigator, to be allowed to travel to that country to testify that they had recorded a statement of Ajmal Kasab, sentenced to death for the Mumbai carnage.
Islamabad also asked New Delhi to hand over Kasab to facilitate the trial of Lashkar-e-Taiba's operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and six others charged with involvement in the strikes in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.