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Pak to hold inter-ministerial meeting on Indian talks offer

world Updated: Feb 09, 2010 15:52 IST

Pakistan will hold high-level talks here on Wednesday to discuss India's offer for Foreign Secretary-level talks amid its insistence that such a meeting should lead to the full-fledged resumption of the composite dialogue.

Pakistan is in a dilemma over the Indian offer of talks which is confined to discuss terrorism and is in the process of formulating a response.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will chair the inter-ministerial meeting at the Foreign Office on Wednesday to assess the Indian offer of talks, after which a clearer picture of Pakistan's response is expected to emerge.

The meeting is expected to be attended by representatives of the interior and defence ministries and the intelligence agencies, including the ISI.

India's offer for talks, conveyed by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao last month, was the subject of in-house consultations at the Foreign Office on Monday.

India has offered February 18 and 25 as possible dates for a meeting of the Foreign Secretaries.

During Monday's consultations, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir favoured the adoption of a cautious approach by Pakistan and made it clear that any parleys with India should lead to the eventual resumption of the composite dialogue that was stalled in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the sources told PTI.