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Indian Track II team to arrive in Pak

Former Indian Foreign Secretary Maharaj K Rasgotra will arrive in Pakistan at the head of a 10-member delegation to take Indo-Pakistan Track II diplomatic initiatives forward through talks.

india Updated: Jan 19, 2004 12:13 IST

Former Indian Foreign Secretary Maharaj K Rasgotra will arrive in Pakistanat the head of a 10-member delegation to take Indo-Pakistan Track II diplomatic initiatives further forward through talks over the next four days.

Former Pakistan Foreign Secretary Niaz A Naik will lead his side at the talks to be held at a hotel here. Former ambassadors and retired generals from the two sides would also participate in these talks.

Prior to the talks, Naik was quoted by the Daily Times as saying during the course of an interview that talks at this level were not new.

He expressed the hope for the introduction of a common currency by 2015, and added that it is imperative to bring South Asian nations closer to each other to ensure regional development and prosperity through a better utilization of existing resources.

Since April 18, 2003, when Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpyee extended the hand of friendship and peace to Pakistan at the Track-I level, high commissioners of India and Pakistan have been appointed; an agreement to restart the bus service between Delhi and Lahore has been inked, 12 to 15 confidence-building measures have been agreed to or responded to positively, Indian and Pakistani prisoners have been released and repatriated; sports activities have begun at the junior level and there is certain hope that senior level activities will start in a couple of months from now; air links have been resumed and both sides have agreed to engage in a composite dialogue.

At the Track-II level, much more has happened. A number of delegations of politicians, businesspersons, journalists and even school children have visited each other's countries, in a bid to expand the people-to-people contacts.

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First Published: Jan 19, 2004 12:13 IST