Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers will return to the negotiating table next week, probably on the coming Tuesday, with India keen to focus primarily on terror, but fully aware that, given the recent troubles in the Kashmir, Pakistan will insist on bringing up the subject.
The venue will be the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly meet in New York.
Speaking to mediapersons at a reception held for External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN on Friday, Pakistan Ambassador to the UN Abdullah Husain Haroon said “clearances” for the bilateral meeting had been received from both nations.
Taking up the issue of terrorism sponsored by Pakistan, New Delhi will ask about progress in the 26/11 investigations. But it has also readied a host of arguments against an expected barrage from Islamabad about the present turmoil in Jammu & Kashmir.
India wants some forward movement on the confidence building measures discussed at the last foreign ministers’ meeting in Islamabad in July.
India sees such measures, including improved people-to-people contacts, as necessary to reduce the post-Mumbai trust deficit.
(That process got a setback following Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s grandstanding at the joint press conference with Krishna held after the meeting.)
Recently, speaking at the Asia Society in New York, Qureshi called Kashmir 'a festering sore in South Asia'. Indian officials are clear they will not allow such strident rhetoric to derail the proposed talks.