Indo-Pak foreign secretaries-level talks on June 24 | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Indo-Pak foreign secretaries-level talks on June 24

Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan will hold talks on June 24, the first meeting after the Prime Ministers of the two countries decided in Thimphu to bridge the "trust deficit" over a month ago.

delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2010 17:33 IST

Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan will hold talks on June 24, the first meeting after the Prime Ministers of the two countries decided in Thimphu to bridge the "trust deficit" over a month ago.

The talks will also set the tone and agenda for the forthcoming meeting between External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi on July 15 in Islamabad.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will visit Pakistan to hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in
Islamabad next week, an External Affairs Ministry release said here today.

During her stay, the Foreign Secretary will also call on Qureshi.

A brief statement issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad said Rao will visit the Pakistan capital on the
invitation of Bashir for bilateral talks scheduled to take place on June 24.

Diplomatic sources there had earlier told PTI that Rao will arrive in Islamabad a day ahead of her talks with Bashir.

Senior Pakistani officials have broadly classified the matters to be raised during the meeting of the two Foreign
Secretaries as outstanding issues like the Kashmir issue, humanitarian matters like the release of prisoners and
fishermen, terrorism and trade and commerce.

India has maintained that these talks were aimed at creating the "right atmosphere" for removing the trust deficit
for a broad dialogue later.

The forthcoming meetings are result of an understanding reached between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani in Thimphu on April 29 to move forward the Indo-Pak dialogue, stalled after the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.

"There is agreement today on both sides that dialogue is the only way forward. Consequently, our Prime Ministers
have charged the Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries with the responsibility of working out the modalities of
restoring trust and confidence in the relationship and thus paving the way for a substantive dialogue on all issues of
mutual concern," Rao had said recently.

She has also advocated "creative solutions" on Jammu and Kashmir and other issues to build on the progress made
earlier through the Composite Dialogue and back channel diplomacy.

The Foreign Secretary's visit will be followed by Home Secretary G K Pillai's trip to Islamabad to attend the SAARC
Home Secretaries meeting that will firm up the agenda for a meeting of home ministers of SAARC on June 26 to be attended by P Chidambaram.

He is also likely to hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik which are expected to be dominated by
India's concerns over terrorism.