At low-key India-Pakistan talks, terror and Kashmir on the tableJune 22nd, 2011 - 8:25 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao leaves for Islamabad Thursday for two-day of talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir, with both sides intent on raise their specific bugbear issues ranging from terrorism to Kashmir.
In the run-up to the talks, there have been deliberate efforts not to raise hopes, with Indian External Affairs minister S.M. Krishna stating: “In the kind of talks we are going to be involved with, patience is something to be called for.”
Indian officials have repeatedly said that they have “realistic expectations” from the talks, given the complexities of the India-Pakistan relationship.
Krishna had mentioned Monday that “terrorism was the central point” in talks with Pakistan. India has also made it clear that it will raise the revelations of Lashkar-e-Toiba operative David Coleman Headley, who claimed a close nexus between Pakistan spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence and the terror group.
On his part, Pakistani Prime Yousuf Raza Gilani said Tuesday “core issues” will be taken up with India as part of the dialogue process. For Pakistan, “core issues” is a euphemism for Kashmir.
The agreement to restart the comprehensive dialogue was reached in April 2010 between the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers in Thimpu - which brought the two nations back to the discussion table after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
But, the actual dialogue began only after the foreign secretaries met in Thimpu in February this year, followed by meetings between the commerce and home/interior secretaries of the two countries. This apart, their defence secretaries discussed the demilitarisation of the Siachen glacier, while India’s Surveyor General and Pakistan’s additional defence secretary discussed the Sir Creek maritime border.
After the foreign secretaries meet in Islamabad, the foreign ministers will meet next month. “The foreign ministers will take stock of the meetings so far, and then set the tone for the next round,” said an Indian government official.
However, the buildup to the talks to this week has not been promising, following the diplomatic squabble over claims of “dangerous manoeuvres” being carried out by Indian and Pakistan warships in the Gulf of Aden, jeopardising the safety of the other.
The incident occurred when Indian warship INS Godavari and Pakistani naval vessel PNS Babar were in the Gulf of Aden to escort to Oman an Egyptian bulk carrier that was released by Somali pirates.
Indian officials have been quick to assert that the dialogue process is precisely needed to defuse such tensions. “The whole comprehensive dialogue is to narrow down the trust deficit,” he said.
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- Dialogue should not be derailed by terrorism: India (Lead) - Jun 24, 2010
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- Terrorism to dominate Krishna, Khar talks - Sep 06, 2012
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