Pakistan Foreign Minister to arrive today

June 27th, 2008 - 10:34 am ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, June 27 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will arrive here today on a four-day visit to carry forward the peace process between the two countries.

Qureshi, who is visiting India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, will be accompanied by a six-member delegation comprising Ambassador-at-Large Nasir Ali Khan and other senior officials.

Foreign Minister Qureshi will hold talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today on issues of mutual interest and explore the possibility of furthering bilateral cooperation for the common benefit and prosperity of the two countries.

While there are not many expectations in New Delhi of any major breakthrough on big issues like Siachen, Sir Creek and Jammu and Kashmir, but New Delhi is optimistic that there will be some forward movement in liberalising the visa regime, increase in the number of pilgrims visiting shrines situated on both sides of the border.

India has also prepared a proposal on introducing more cross border Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).

Issues like South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), security situation in Afghanistan and proposed peace pipeline between India-Pakistan-Iran might also figure during the talks.

Qureshi is expected to call on Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. He will also meet UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L. K. Advani.

Before returning home, the Foreign Minister will also visit Ajmer, Jaipur and Chandigarh.

In Ajmer, Qureshi will visit the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti.

During his visit to Chandigarh, he will participate in a meet aimed at increasing cooperation between India’s Punjab state and Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Qureshis visit to India will be the second high-level contact between Pakistan and India within the span of one-and-a-half month.

Last month, Pranab Mukherjee went to Islamabad to resume peace talks after a hiatus of more than a year.

Both countries have concluded four rounds of talks and the new coalition government in Islamabad has called for a grand reconciliation with India.

The meeting between the two Foreign Ministers was preceded by the third meeting of joint anti terror mechanism, which was concluded in Islamabad on Tuesday. (ANI)

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