Govt invited Foreign Secy Nirupama Rao to Pak: Qureshi | world | Hindustan Times
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Govt invited Foreign Secy Nirupama Rao to Pak: Qureshi

world Updated: Aug 20, 2009 20:50 IST

Pakistan on Thursday said it has invited new Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to visit the country for talks, but New Delhi was yet to respond.

India and Pakistan have been unable to arrange a meeting of their Foreign Secretaries ahead of crucial talks between the Foreign Ministers, apparently due to differences on the venue for such a meet.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a group of editors that Pakistan had invited Rao to visit the country for talks. However, he said New Delhi had not yet responded to the invitation.

Pakistan decided to extend an invitation to Rao as Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir visited New Delhi in July last year to kick off the fifth round of the now-stalled composite dialogue, and it was now the turn of the Indian Foreign Secretary to visit Islamabad, sources in the Foreign Office told PTI.

It could not be immediately be ascertained when the invitation was extended to Rao to visit Pakistan. Officials of the High Commission too said they were not aware when the invitation was conveyed.

The sources said it was not practical for the Foreign Secretaries to meet at a "neutral venue" outside India and Pakistan due to scheduling problems.