Maintaining that the concerns of terrorism still remain, New Delhi has proposed February 18 and 25 as dates for the foreign secretary-level talks with Islamabad since Pakistan has taken “some, but not all steps” with regard to 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Government sources have also ruled out any “outside pressure” for suggesting these dates to resume talks when Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao talked to her Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir over phone January-end, inviting him to New Delhi for the discussions.
And the possible agenda of the talks were discussed when Rao met with Pakistan High Commissioner to New Delhi, Shahid Malik, on Friday.
Malik is expected to respond after discussing the matter with his government.
Asserting that the resumption of dialogue is not the revival of composite dialogue — called off after 26/11 Mumbai attack — the sources said that concerns over terrorism emanating from Pakistani soil against India continue. Islamabad has expressed interest in restarting dialogue.
“Any meaningful dialogue can happen only in an atmosphere free of terror and threat of terror. And, the context of the proposal for the Foreign Secretary-level talks is our desire to enhance the trust and confidence between the two countries. For that we should talk to each other and talking at each other,” a source said adding Pakistan had taken “some steps” against those involved in the Mumbai attack.
“They have taken some steps, but not all against the attackers of 26/11. They (Pakistan) need to do more. There has been no outside pressure behind our decision for talks, that we took as a mature, big country.”
The sources said that the “talks” with Pakistan will go “step-by-step” on the dialogue process and is ready to “discuss all issues of concerns”.