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Talks will focus on terrorism and hurting issues, says India

By Rezaul H Laskar
February 06, 2010 04:35 IST
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India has told Pakistan that the proposed talks with it will focus on terrorism and other issues "hurting" bilateral relations and has given no indication about the full-fledged resumption of the stalled composite dialogue process, official sources said on Friday.

When Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao telephoned her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir about a week ago to propose foreign secretary-level talks, she made it clear that the parleys would focus on terrorism and other issues that are "hurting relations between the two countries," official sources in the Foreign Office in Islamabad said.

Rao said India would even be willing to discuss differences with Pakistan on the sharing of river waters, the sources told PTI. The waters issue has emerged as a major irritant between the two sides in the past few years, with Islamabad accusing New Delhi of choking the flow of rivers. India has denied the charge.

However, the sources said Rao gave no indication during the conversation about the full-fledged resumption of the composite dialogue, which was put on hold by New Delhi in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The sources characterised Rao's stance as a "conscious effort" to not even refer to the composite dialogue process.

Following the contact between the two Foreign Secretaries, Islamabad asked its High Commissioner to New Delhi, Shahid Malik, to meet Rao to seek clarifications on the content and agenda for the proposed talks.

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Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
Source: PTI© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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