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Pranab may visit Pak in December

The visit is likely to be finalised towards the end of the month when Kasuri comes to New Delhi on a private trip.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 15:29 IST

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to go to Islamabad on an official visit next month to talk on a range of issues including progress on the anti-terror mechanism being set up on Wednesday.

The visit is under discussion and may be finalised towards the end of this month when Kasuri comes to New Delhi to attend the wedding of Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer's daughter, official sources said.

The two sides are also exploring the possibility of a meeting between Kasuri and Mukherjee during his visit this month.

If Mukherjee goes to Pakistan, he will formally extend an invitation to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf to attend the 14th SAARC summit to be held in New Delhi in April next year.

This could be the first visit by Mukherjee to a foreign country after assuming charge of the external affairs ministry this month.

Foreign ministers of India and Pakistan normally meet after a review of the composite dialogue by foreign secretaries of the two countries.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan on Wednesday ended their two-day talks that reviewed the third round of the composite dialogue and discussed terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir.

The foreign secretary talks were postponed after the July 11 Mumbai train killings, blamed by New Delhi on the Pakistani intelligence.

Therefore the meeting between foreign ministers of the two countries was put off as well. Moreover, India didn't have a full-time foreign minister at that time.

First Published: Nov 15, 2006 14:45 IST