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Thaw? India invites Pakistan for talks in New Delhi

Source: PTI
February 04, 2010 20:56 IST
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In an ice-breaking decision that could end the post-26/11 stalemate, 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.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has invited her counterpart Salman Bashir to New Delhi for the talks, sources said 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.

Pakistan's response is awaited, they said.

Sources made it clear that the focus of talks would be terrorism emanating from Pakistan and any other matter that could "contribute to creating an atmosphere of peace and security" between the two countries.

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 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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