A day after India’s talk offer, Pakistan pushed for reviving composite dialogue but New Delhi favoured the two sides sticking to foreign-secretary level talks for now.
India had on Thursday offered foreign secretary-level talks, signalling resumption of the dialogue process stalled after 26/11 attacks.
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik met on Friday to discuss the possible agenda and the dates for talks. New Delhi is keen to host the meet at an early date, possibly this month.
Issues concerning both the countries would be taken up, said a government official. “We are awaiting Pakistan’s response to put final touches for the scheduling of the event.”
“We discussed the possible agenda and the dates for the meeting... We have to find mutually convenient time and date,” Malik told reporters. Asked if the composite dialogue would resume, Malik refused to pre-judge, but said, “We have agreed in the past that dialogue is the only way forward.”
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash termed Rao’s meeting with Malik as positive.
Abject surrender: BJP
The dialogue process was being resumed under international pressure as Pakistan had not given any assurance to checking terrorism emanating against India from its territory, the BJP said on Friday. The party would seek an assurance from the Prime Minister that he wouldn’t allow any compromise on Jammu and Kashmir’s status, said Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
Terming the decision as an abject surrender, party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said it would undermine Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s efforts to discuss terror with his Pakistani counterpart.