India, Pak make cautious start
The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan met in Thimphu on Sunday night in a bid to resume the dialogue process and to try bridging the trust deficit that hit the relationship. Jayanth Jacob reports.india Updated: Feb 07, 2011 01:00 IST
The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan met here on Sunday night in a bid to resume the dialogue process and to try bridging the trust deficit that hit the relationship.
The meeting between India’s Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir took place six months after the meeting of foreign ministers of both countries broke down in Pakistan.
Rao and Bashir said separately that they would endeavour to find a way forward for continued engagement between the two countries.
“We are resuming our contact after an interregnum of some time. We have a number of issues to be discussed. As we have always said, the dialogue between India and Pakistan is necessary and a must if we are to satisfactorily resolve the outstanding issues between our two countries," Rao said.
“We have a number of outstanding issues. So, we are going into this with an open mind and constructive attitude," she said.
While India has shown flexibility in walking half-way to discuss the issues covered in the composite dialogue that was suspended after the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, it doesn’t want to give a name to the dialogue process.
India’s nine-point agenda includes a discussion on cross-border confidence measures — proposals for more buses and trains, making forward movement on humanitarian issues, cultural interactions and meetings of the commerce secretaries.
Though many of these topics constituted the composite dialogue, India doesn’t want the dialogue process to be called composite at the moment.