Islamabad: India and Pakistan have to work
together to eliminate terrorism and there cannot be a
"segmented approach" in dealing with the scourge, Foreign
Secretary Nirupama Rao said here on Thursday.
Emerging from the first day of talks with her Pakistani
counterpart Salman Bashir at the Foreign Office here, Rao
said, "Terrorism is related to peace and security in the
region... We both have to work together to eliminate
terrorism. There can be no segmented approach (in dealing with
The two sides had been discussing measures to tackle
terrorism in talks between their Home and Interior
Secretaries, she told a small group of reporters.
Bashir said terrorism was as important an issue for
Pakistan as "it could be to any other country".
Describing terrorism as a regional and global issue, he
contended that the Lahore Declaration and a memorandum of
understanding signed by the two countries in 1999 were very
important as it contained a "shared vision for peace and
The MoU was "an ideal and important for moving forward",
"The implementation of the MoU is the solution to issues
pertaining to peace and security," Bashir added.
Both Foreign Secretaries expressed satisfaction with the
first round of their discussions, which focused on peace and
security, including confidence-building measures.
Rao described the talks as "constructive" and said she
and Bashir had exchanged ideas in a "focused and professional
"We have talked about some steps for improving relations
that we can`t talk about to the media," Rao said.
The two Foreign Secretaries had been mandated by their
leadership to build trust, she said.
Bashir said Pakistan was satisfied with developments in
bilateral relations, especially in relation to the situation
that prevailed in the past two to three years.
"Peace and security will bring stability in the
relations. When relations are stable, we can move towards
enhancing trade, commerce, culture and other aspects of our
relations," Rao said.
"Both governments have the will to improve the
relationship. We have to take steps for improving (relations)
and ensuring the good future of the people," she said.
Bashir said Pakistan was "hopeful" about talks on the
Kashmir issue scheduled for tomorrow.
During the second round of their talks tomorrow, the
Foreign Secretaries will focus on the Kashmir issue and
promotion of friendly exchanges.