India decides to have foreign secy-level talks with Pak

Offer made to Pakistan, reply awaited, say sources

PTI | February 4, 2010



In an ice-breaking decision, India has offered to have Foreign Secretary-level talks with Pakistan to discuss terrorism and any other issue that could lead to peace between the two neighbours.

The offer of talks has been made to Pakistan and a reply is awaited, sources said here today about the decision that marks softening of India's post-26/11 stance apparently because Pakistan government has produced evidence in court against those held in connection with Mumbai terror attacks.

At the talks, India intends to raise the issue of terrorism and any other matter that could "contribute to creating an atmosphere of peace and security" between the two countries, the sources said.

India will "enter into the discussions with an open and positive mind" and will raise all "relevant issues," they said.

On the outcome of the proposed meeting, the sources said this should not be pre-judged.

There was, however, no indication whether the proposed Foreign Secretary-level talks could lead to resumption of composite dialogue under which eight outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, were being discussed prior to the November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

India had suspended the composite dialogue after Mumbai terror attacks and refused to restart the process before it could see any concrete action being taken by Pakistan in punishing those behind the carnage.

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