India-pak talks put off as dates clash with winter session | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India-pak talks put off as dates clash with winter session

The home secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan, which is scheduled for next month-end, has been postponed even as New Delhi is looking towards the Pakistan cabinet to grant most favoured nation status during the bilateral commerce secretary-level meeting in Delhi. Shishir Gupta reports.

delhi Updated: Oct 20, 2011 00:50 IST
Shishir Gupta

The home secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan, which is scheduled for next month-end, has been postponed even as New Delhi is looking towards the Pakistan cabinet to grant most favoured nation (MFN) status during the bilateral commerce secretary-level meeting in Delhi.

Top government sources said the home secretary-level dialogue, which was slated to take place on November 28-29, 2011 had been postponed as the dates coincided with the winter session of parliament session in India. The dialogue, which was expected to ratify the liberalised visa regime after being cleared by the cabinets of India and Pakistan respectively, is now expected to take place in December after mutual consultations. The last dialogue took place on March 28-29, 2011 with both countries agreeing to set up a hotline between the two home secretaries.

The back-to back meeting of expert group on conventional and nuclear confidence building measures (CBMs) will take place towards November-end. However, the talks between commerce secretaries, which is scheduled for November 14-18, 2011, augurs well for the ties among neighbours after foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar told the national assembly this month that Pakistan had, in principle, agreed to give MFN status to India.

While granting of the MFN status to India is still to be cleared by the Pakistan cabinet, Khar's statement is a movement forward in the vexed bilateral ties.

Last month, Pakistan commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim had also indicated that grant of transit rights to Indian goods meant for Afghanistan could also come up for discussion.