Realistic expectations from Indo-Pak dialogue, says Nirupama Rao
India today said foreign secretary Nirupama Rao will go to Islamabad with "an open and constructive approach" and with "realistic" expectations, despite a naval row breaking out ahead of her meeting with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir on June 23-25.delhi Updated: Jun 19, 2011 19:13 IST
India on Sunday said foreign secretary Nirupama Rao will go to Islamabad with "an open and constructive approach" and with "realistic" expectations, despite a naval row breaking out ahead of her meeting with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir on June 23-25.
"We are going to Islamabad for the foreign secretaries level meeting with an open and constructive approach to discuss all issues of mutual interest and concern, and to build upon the progress achieved in the past," government sources said in New Delhi.
"Given the histories and complexities of the India-Pakistan relationship, we have realistic expectations," the sources said.
Nirupama Rao will be in Islamabad for discussions with Salman Bashir on all outstanding issues including Kashmir, peace and security and friendly exchanges between the two countries.
The meeting comes close on the heels of India and Pakistan trading charges on reported "dangerous manoeuvres" carried out by the other's warships in the Gulf of Aden, threatening the safety of their own warship.
Indian warship INS Godavari and Pakistani naval vessel PNS Babar were in the Gulf of Aden to escort an Egyptian bulk carrier that was released by Somali pirates on June 14 to Oman.
During the foreign secretary level meeting, the two sides will review all preceding meetings of various ministries. "This will naturally cover all issues of mutual concern, especially the continuing threat posed by terrorists," they said.
The sources said India was "satisfied" with the earlier talks that began with the foreign secretaries meeting in Thimphu in February this year.
Between February and May, meetings between their commerce secretaries, Indian home secretary and Pakistan's interior secretary, defence secretaries on demilitarisation of Siachen glacier, apart from a meeting between Pakistan's additional defence secretary and India's Surveyor General on Sir Creek maritime borders, were held.
"Dialogue is a process. It is not an event in itself. We should not expect quick and dramatic solutions to these complex and longstanding issues. But go step-by-step by narrowing the trust deficit with understanding, towards an eventual resolution of all outstanding issues through dialogue," the sources said.
Regarding the court cases against Mumbai terror attack perpetrators in a Pakistani court, the sources said the proceedings were moving at a "glacial pace" with "low satisfactory outcome", even as the judge was changed for the fourth time, recently.
"We have submitted all documents and complied with all requests from Pakistan for documentary evidence. Our concerns on Mumbai terror attacks are legitimate and we need satisfactory closure of the case, so we can put this issue behind us," they said.
Sources said the recent revelations on the involvement of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in the Mumbai terror attacks "are part of the larger conspiracy" and India's concerns included the conspiracy that led to the "huge tragedy" on 26/11.
"We have not let our guard down on any of this," they said.