India-Pak talks to go beyond terror
Terror will not be the only subject India will harp upon at the foreign secretaries meeting in Pak on Thursday. Though the concern over Pak-sponsored terror remains "very real and undiminished" and needs to be tackled, Govt wants to chart a way forward by taking up other issues as well. Jayanth Jacob reports.delhi Updated: Jun 21, 2010 01:26 IST
Terror will not be the only subject India will harp upon at the foreign secretaries meeting in Pakistan on Thursday.
<b1>Though the concern over Pakistan-sponsored terrorism remains “very real and undiminished” and needs to be tackled, New Delhi wants to chart a way forward by taking up other issues as well: trade, people-to-people contact and humanitarian issues like prisoners in each other’s jails, sources said.
On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will meet her Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir in Islamabad, laying the framework for the meeting between the two Foreign Ministers on July 15.
Home Minister P Chidambaram will travel to Pakistan for the SARRC Home Minister’s meet on July 25 and will have bilateral meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Rahman Malik.
"We are not going there in accusatory mode but we are going there in exploratory mode,” a top official source said while maintaining that India will respond to all issues, including contentious ones, if raised by Pakistan, with confidence.
Taking care of concerns over terrorism is an imperative for deflecting the reservations against talks with Pakistan from the opposition.
At the same time, New Delhi is looking beyond this single-agenda for finding ways to reduce the trust deficit and keep the dialogue process on.
The proposals India has in mind for reducing the trust deficit include, increasing the people-to-people contact, cross border confidence building measures, improving trade ties (New Delhi is open to have discussions at any levels in the Commerce Ministry of two countries) and measures aimed at the welfare of the people jailed in each others’ country and the fishermen.