Pakistan on Thursday came up with a strange demand - it wants to know the "outcome" of the visit to India by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi expected early next year even before he undertakes it.
"I cannot give you any date as to when our Foreign Minister would visit New Delhi. It is contingent upon the agenda of the meeting as well as how our two countries agree as to what will be the outcome of that meeting," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told a weekly news briefing.
He was responding to questions about Qureshi's proposed visit to India. "The Indian External Affairs Minister, during his visit to Pakistan in July, has invited our Foreign Minister to visit India.
So we hope that by early next year, there would be some agreement in the context of the agenda as well as the outcome of that meeting," he said.
Earlier reports had suggested that Qureshi would travel to New Delhi in November or December in response to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's invitation.
"We hope that India would respond to Pakistan's suggestions which were discussed prior to and during the July 15 meeting in Islamabad," Basit said, referring to parleys between the two Foreign Ministers.
He said no dates had been fixed for Qureshi's visit. "As of today, there is no progress on this count," he said. The talks between Qureshi and Krishna in July had ended without any breakthrough after the Pakistani side insisted on a timeframe for taking up issues like the Kashmir problem and military standoff on the Siachen glacier.
A report in The Express Tribune newspaper today quoted an unnamed Pakistani diplomat as saying that the two countries were "working quietly" to iron out differences on issues that have prevented the resumption of the peace process which was stalled in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The diplomat told the newspaper that Pakistan wants a clear roadmap for the composite dialogue while India links the peace process to progress in the prosecution of Pakistani suspects linked to the Mumbai attacks. India suspended the composite dialogue in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, which it blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba terror group.