India to have Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pak

In this file photo, Indian and Pakistani flags are lowered during a daily ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony at Wagah border post. India has proposed Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan, a step seen as softening of its stand towards the neighbour.  

India on Thursday proposed Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan to discuss terrorism and any other issue that could lead to peace between the two neighbours.

Sources said that the talks offer has been made to Pakistan and a reply is awaited.

At the talks, the sources said, India intends to raise the issue of terrorism and any other matter that could “contribute to creating an atmosphere of peace and security” between the two countries.

India will “enter into the discussions with an open and positive mind” and will raise all “relevant issues,” they said.

India had suspended composite dialogue with Pakistan after the Mumbai terror attacks and refused to restart the process before it sees concrete action taken by Pakistan in punishing those behind the carnage.

The softening of India’s stand came apparently after Pakistan produced evidence against arrested Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including its commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in a court in connection with the Mumbai attacks.

The evidence was based on a series of dossiers provided to Pakistan by India in connection with the incident.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna had indicated two days ago about resumption of the talks when he had said, “doors for talks were never shut.”

On Wednesday, Mr. Krishna said India would be satisfied if Pakistan takes “a few steps” with regard to investigations into the 26/11 carnage.

The offer for Foreign Secretary-level talks comes as Home Minister P. Chidambaram prepares to travel to Pakistan on February 26 to attend the SAARC Interior Ministers’ Conference, which will mark the first high-level visit from India since the November 2008 attacks.

During his visit, Mr. Chidambaram is likely to have a bilateral meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik and some other leaders.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 3:57:46 PM |

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