Ahead of talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan next month, a delegation of leading Pakistani MPs will interact with their Indian counterparts here to promote peace and trade between the two countries.
The 13-member parliamentary delegation, led by Senator Sabir Ali Baloch, deputy chairperson of the Pakistani Senate, crossed over to India through the Attari-Wagah border checkpost Wednesday.
They will hold talks with Indian MPs led by BJP leader and Lok Sabha member Yashwant Sinha, for two days starting Thursday.
On Saturday, the Pakistani parliamentarians will leave for Patna where they will meet Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.
The two-day India-Pakistan parliamentarians dialogue will dwell on all issues that affect bilateral relations and will focus on exploring ways to promote trade and boost people-to-people contact, with a view to bridging the trust deficit between the two countries.
The parliamentarians are expected to press for a resolution of humanitarian issues, like the release of prisoners in each other's territory that has the potential to create a lot of goodwill between the two nations.
The dialogue is being facilitated by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), a think tank that works for strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan.
The dialogue takes place weeks before external affairs minister SM Krishna goes to Islamabad for talks with Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar to review the second round of dialogue, after the two sides revived ties following a long hiatus after the 26/11 terror attacks.
While Krishna and Khar will discuss contentious issues like terror and Kashmir, they are also expected to discuss strengthening of cross-border trade and travel linkages.