Stalled peace talks: Pakistan, India break the ice

Krishna renews invitation to Qureshi; top bureaucrats of the two countries to meet in Bhutan next month.

Kamran Yousaf January 08, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India have agreed to a meeting between their top bureaucrats next week in Bhutan in a move to restart a stalled dialogue process.

New Delhi had called a ‘time-out’ in the slow-moving talks with Islamabad, known as composite dialogue, after gunmen mounted attacks on Mumbai’s landmarks in November 2008. And subsequent attempts to put the process back on track have ended in naught.

“Pakistan has accepted India’s offer for talks between foreign secretaries of the two countries on the fringes of a meeting of foreign ministers from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc),” a Foreign Office official told The Express Tribune.

“The foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet in Thimphu in February,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

This will be the first meeting between the top bureaucrats of Pakistan and India since September last year when they had failed to break a deadlock in their talks in New York on the margins of a UN General Assembly session.

The two countries have had high-level contacts since the Mumbai attacks but New Delhi’s insistence on discussing only terrorism-related issues hampered the progress,  according to the Pakistani official.

He said that in the Bhutan meeting, the two foreign secretaries would try to iron out differences on issues that have so far prevented the two nations from resuming the  stalled talks.

Islamabad wants a clear roadmap for the composite dialogue while New Delhi links it with progress on the prosecution of suspects of the Mumbai attacks, which India blamed on the Pakistan-based militant outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The latest development comes as Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna renewed the invitation to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi to visit New Delhi.

Qureshi was originally scheduled to visit India in December last year but the trip did not materialise because of a disagreement on the agenda of the talks.

“The visit of Foreign Minister Qureshi will depend on the outcome of the talks between the foreign secretaries in Bhutan,” said the Foreign Office official.

“If the talks are successful and India agrees to discuss all issues including Kashmir, the foreign minister will certainly visit India,” he added.

Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit said Pakistan wants meaningful and result-oriented dialogue with India. “Foreign Minister Qureshi has already stated that he will not visit India just for photo-ops,” he added.

The two foreign ministers last met in July 2010 in Islamabad but failed to put the derailed peace process back on track.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2011.

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COMMENTS (16)

Satish Chandra | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend A story on Voice of America (www.voanews.com , January 9, 2011) says: "Indian Foreign Minister Warns of Outside Interference in Afghanistan: ... The remarks are seen as a warning to Pakistan. ... ." So the American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is not "outside interference" but Pakistan's interest in Afghanistan is "outside interference". As I said months ago, "India's njgger-slave, traitor service chiefs who are constantly talking of threats from India's 'neighbors' must be shot on the spot. The United States is EVERYBODY'S neighbor. It has already invaded and occupied Afghanistan, a part of traditional India and will expand its occupation to the rest of the subcontinent. Was Britain India's neighbor? I am India's expert in strategic defence and the father of India's strategic program, including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan means the coast-to-coast destruction of the U.S. by India; see my blog titled 'Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.' which can be found by a Yahoo search with the title for steps I have already taken for the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the U.S. and extermination of its population. Russia and other white countries are U.S. allies. These are the enemies to destroy. All other enemies will be taken care of automatically. Conventional arms are worthless for destroying the United Sates. Nuclear arms to destroy the United States with a FIRST STRIKE -- this is the key -- are cheap and easy to produce with technology India already has. Prepositioning by its special forces a couple of nuclear bombs in Washington and New York and letting the world know we have done so will give India freedom to test thermonuclear weapons designs, ICBMs, etc., as much as it wants, though India already has this freedom but for the njgger-slaves. Alternatively, twenty kiloton bombs can be prepositioned in the largest U.S. cities and then Washington and New York destroyed with the warning that additional U.S. cities will be destroyed if there is any retaliation. The nuclear destruction of New Delhi -- without waiting -- is all that is needed to make India win." Satish Chandra
Ashutosh | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend n the current situation, India can do without any dialogue but things are becoming increasing difficult for Pakistan. It will be a better idea to assess the situation in a rational way and then take a decision keeping in interest of common Pakistan and common Pakistani in prospective ... Please remember, that these terrorists are bigger enemy of Pakistan today than they are of India. The world in fast forgetting Kashmir and embracing India and Indian. They also look at Pakistan with suspicion and on guard at the very sight of a Pakistani.
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