26/11, trade and travel figure in talks with Pak | india | Hindustan Times
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26/11, trade and travel figure in talks with Pak

india Updated: Jun 24, 2011 00:49 IST
HT Correspondents

As foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistan counterpart began their discussions on Thursday, officials here said both countries were working for a liberalised visa regime that will facilitate easier travel for senior citizens, children, businessmen and journalists.

India took up the issue of terrorism that has affected the peace and security of the two neighbours, and sought a closure on the 26/11 Mumbai attack case. "That means unravelling the conspiracy of the attack and bringing the guilty to the book. Terrorism ... has stalled the peace process between the two countries," an Indian official said about the talks.

Terming the dialogue as substantive and forward looking, the foreign secretaries discussed trade, people-to-people contact, military exchange and nuclear safety issues. In New Delhi, officials were positive about one of the most talked about and beneficial confidence building measures - liberalised visa regime.

"If both the countries reach an agreement, for the first time India and Pakistan will have a liberalised visa regime," a government official said.

India has proposed relaxed norms under which visas will not be city-specific and visa-holders will be allowed to travel across the country. New Delhi is also in favour of abolishing the policy of "port of entry and exit has to be same" and allowing the travellers to enter and exit through their chosen ports.

More than 100 Kashmiri militants, who crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir years ago, are expected to return home next month. "Hopefully, 108 militants will return home next month,"an official said.

Meanwhile both sides struck a positive note. "All aspects related to peace and security have been discussed... Terrorism is confronting both countries and has affected peace and security...The two foreign secretaries had cordial discussions, substantive talks and forward looking," said MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash after the talks.

On Friday, there will be two rounds of talks. The first session will deal with Jammu and Kashmir and second session would be about promoting friendly ties.