Indo-Pakistan Foreign Secretaries meet; cross border terrorism high on agenda

May 19th, 2008 - 11:10 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 19 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon has left for Islamabad this evening. He will hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir ahead of discussions between the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his counterpart on Wednesday.

The agenda of his visit includes a review of four rounds of talks between the two countries that have been held since January 2004.

The talks will focus on terrorism, levels of infiltration into India and ways to build on the peace process after a gap of more than a year, an Indian Foreign Ministry official said.

Menon will restart a stagnant peace process.

It will also prepare the ground for talks between the two Foreign Ministers on Wednesday. At the talks, we will see what exactly the new government has in mind, added the official.

India is expected to press for launch of more cross Line of Control (LoC) bus services and early operationalisation of truck service as the two sides are scheduled to resume the composite dialogue process tomorrow.

Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and various confidence-building measures will also come up for discussion. Unprovoked firing on the LoC and handing over of dreaded criminal Dawood Ibrahim may also figure in the talks.

The Foreign Secretaries of the two countries will hold discussions on a host of issues ahead of the ministerial level talks.

All issues that have a bearing on India will come up for discussion. Pranab Mukherjee in his meeting with his counterpart will pick up the threads of the dialogue process, where it was left during the Musharraf regime.

India is looking for concrete action by Pakistan in ending cross border terrorism and infiltration. With New Delhi determined to over come the hurdles in taking the peace process forward, observers are hopeful that the present round of talks will lead to further improvement of relations between the two countries.

This will be the first high-level contact between the two sides since February 2007, when Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee traveled to Pakistan. (ANI)

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