‘China cannot be a factor in India-Pakistan dialogue’June 22nd, 2011 - 8:07 pm ICT by IANS
On board special flight, June 22 (IANS) Ahead of foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan, India Wednesday made it clear that China cannot be a factor in its dialogue on “problems that complicate” its relations with its western neighbour.
Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who is scheduled to leave for Islamabad Thursday, said Pakistan bringing in “other factors” into the dialogue would not address the issue of normalising relations between the two countries. She will meet her counterpart Salman Bashir for two-day talks.
She was interacting with reporters on board a special air force aircraft on her way back to India after a three-day visit to Myanmar along with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.
“It is India and Pakistan that are dealing with each other to discuss problems that complicate our relationship. It think to bring in other factors into this dialogue is not really going to address the issue of normalising relations that we want,” Rao said.
She was asked about Pakistan seeking to involve China in its bilateral talks with India on issues such as demilitarisation of the Siachen glacier, dubbed the world’s highest battlefield, in Jammu and Kashmir.
“There are so many areas where there is a need to normalise relations (between India and Pakistan) such as trade, people-to-people contact and making travel between the two countries easier,” Rao said.
“If we can do more to reduce the tension between the two countries and reduce the trust deficit, it will greatly help the relations and greatly promote the relations. It makes sense to discuss CBMs in all these areas.”
Stressing that terrorism was a major issue that needs to be “addressed satisfactorily” by Pakistan, she said the whole bilateral list of issues that are to be discussed.
“The issue of terrorism that infests our region is a matter of utmost concern to all of us in the region,” she said.
Earlier, S.M. Krishna said terrorism would be the focus of dialogue with Pakistan when Nirupama Rao visits Islamabad. “Terrorism is going to be one of the issues that is going to be naturally discussed with Pakistan,” he said, noting that the whole South Asian region is infested with terror.
“All issues concerning terror, along with various other issues that bug our relationship, will be discussed,” he added.
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