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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

India, Pak envoys meet in Dubai to better ties

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times  Newv Delhi, August 30, 2013
First Published: 00:13 IST(30/8/2013) | Last Updated: 07:44 IST(30/8/2013)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special envoy SK Lamba and his Pakistan counterpart Shahryar Khan met in Dubai on Thursday in back-channel diplomacy ahead of the proposed meeting between the two prime ministers in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in the last week of September.

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Sources familiar with the development said the focus of the meeting was at easing the tension between the two countries after the recent incidents along the Line of Control, which resulted in deaths of soldiers on both sides. They also discussed the proposed meeting between Singh and Nawaz Sharif.

Poll-bound government has raised the bar for talks with Pakistan, saying the neigbour has to take steps such as avoiding “unprovoked” actions along the LoC, speeding up the trial of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case, and reigning in the activities of terrorist using its territory to launch attack on India.

Barring any major incident in the coming days, the two prime ministers are likely to meet on September 29 in New york. However, it could be a short meeting.

A judicial panel from Pakistan, which will cross examine the witnesses in the 26/11 case is expected to visit Mumbai on September 4.

The ties between the two  took a hit after five Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush in the Poonch sector in Jammu & Kashmir in the first week of August. Taking a tough stand, after the initial caution, India blamed Pakistan army for the killing.

Both sides since the summoned each other’s envoys over the violation of a 2003 ceasefire agreement. And the back channels meeting is taking place in this context. As a policy, external affairs ministry doesn’t offer comments on back channel meeting.


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