Krishna-Khar talks: Terror, 26/11 India’s ‘core concerns’ (Lead)

September 5th, 2012 - 11:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) Ahead of External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s visit to Islamabad, India has made it clear that although all issues will be discussed, terrorism and the expeditious conclusion of the Mumbai terror attack trial in Pakistan remain its “core concerns”.

“All issues are going to be discussed. Terrorism is certainly a core concern to us. Mumbai (26/11 trial) is a core concern to us,” well-placed sources said when asked to about the agenda of the forthcoming talks between Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar Saturday in Islamabad.

Krishna, who begins his three-day visit to Islamabad Friday, and Khar will review the second round of the dialogue process revived in February 2011 after a long hiatus following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. They will also co-chair the plenary of the India-Pakistan Joint Commission Saturday.

After spending two days in Islamabad, where he is expected to meet other dignitaries as well, Krishna will visit Lahore Sunday (Sep 9) for talks with political, business and civil society leaders there.

When asked whether the disclosures of Abu Jundal, a 26/11 plotter, linking Pakistani agencies to the Mumbai savagery will figure in the talks, the sources said this issue has already been raised by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai during talks with his counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani in New Delhi in July.

The sources did not comment on whether fresh evidence of substantiating Jundal’s disclosures will be given to Pakistani interlocutors.

The sources rejected the impression that the terrorism issue was taking a backseat in view of fast progress in trade relations between the two countries. If there is “rapid and faster” progress in one area, it does “not mean we are ignoring the other,” the sources said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who met Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the NAM summit in Tehran last week, said that the expeditious conclusion of the Mumbai terror attack trial will be a “major” confidence building measure in bilateral relations.

It is also not clear whether Krishna will carry any evidence to back the home ministry’s contention that a spate of recent hate messages spread through social media networks emanated from any Pakistani territory.

The sources, however, did not clarify whether the much-awaited new visa agreement will be signed during this visit, except for saying that India hopes it will be signed as early as possible.

The visa agreement was supposed to be signed during the home secretaries level talks held in May in Pakistan, but could not be done as Pakistan insisted that it should be done at the political level.

On the prospects of the sale of electricity to Pakistan, the sources said that the proposal is still being studied at the technical level. There have been technical-level talks on the possibility of sale of power, they said. “Our grids are not even connected. There are no transmission lines between India and Pakistan,” they added.

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