India-Pak to explore via media to keep talks on

Seeking a via media to carry forward the talk process, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao will hold discussions with her Pakistan counterpart Salman Bashir on Sunday late evening.

Amid clear indications from Pakistan that it would counter India’s persistent demand for punishing the 26/11 perpetrators with the slow progress in Samjhauta blasts probe, both sides are looking at ways to ensure the dialogue process gets back on track.

Some headways in the dialogue process will pay way for the visit of Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to India in March-April.

Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said that the talks are going to be “exploratory discussion” and both the sides can we “can find a way forward” through this process.  She said that New Delhi will not shy away from “sharing evidence from Pakistan” if there is a need to do so.

“We are resuming our contact after interregnum of some time. We have number of issues discussed as we have always said that dialogue between India and Pakistan is necessary if we are to satisfactorily resolve the outstanding issues between our two countries we have a number of outstanding issues,” Rao said in Thimphu.

“We are going into this with open mind and constructive attitude and I believe my Pakistani counterpart will also have number of ideas to discuss so this is going to be exploratory discussion and we hope that through this process we can find a way forward”, she added.

On a question of Pakistan raising the ante on Samjhauta probe, she said “We have already said an investigation is going on.  It was an act of terrorism there is no doubt about it and when we are ready to share evidence we have never shied away from the fact if there is evidence to share with Pakistan we will share it.”

“My expectations are that we should be working towards continue engagement,” Pakistan foreign secretary said adding that both the officials are here for the preparation of engagement between two foreign ministers.


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