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Pakistan foreign secretary to visit Nepal

world Updated: Jun 26, 2009 19:40 IST
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Less than a week after India sent its Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon to Kathmandu to discuss border problems with Nepal's new government as well as the halted peace process, Pakistan is sending its foreign secretary in Kathmandu for talks.

Salman Bashir is arriving on Saturday on a three-day visit, Nepal's foreign ministry said.

Like Menon, the Pakistani envoy will meet Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala.

However, it was not known immediately whether he would also, like Menon, meet the chief of the Maoist party, former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda.

Prachanda had earlier said that during the 10-year `People's War' fought by his guerrillas, Islamabad had offered to arm his People's Liberation Army but the offer was declined.

The Pakistan Embassy in Kathmandu said in a press statement that during his meeting with his Nepali counterpart, Gyan Chandra Acharya, the two dignitaries will review Pakistan-Nepal political and economic relations and explore ways to strengthen bilateral ties.

India is concerned at the rising terror attacks in its cities, especially at the links between some of the attackers and Nepal, which was used as a transit to avoid detection.

Menon had visited Kathmandu June 20-21 amidst growing allegations of encroachment by India.