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Indo-Pak dialogue: India for keeping momentum `on`

Last Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 21:07

New Delhi: India will work with Pakistan on scheduling of dialogue on various bilateral issues since the new government is now in place in that country.
Noting that it was "inevitable" that when the elections are round the corner, some of the dialogue will take a little time, top government sources said since "the elections are over and there is a new government, they (dialogue) will be brought back on to same track."

The placement and scheduling of these talks will be discussed between Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and his Pakistani counterpart, the sources said, adding the idea was to keep the momentum "on" in the Indo-Pak dialogue process.

They also stressed that there was no "complete pause" in Indo-Pak dialogue in the aftermath of the beheading of two Indian soldiers earlier this year.

The sources said India has conveyed through Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s special envoy Satinder Lambah that it stands "willing" to engage with Pakistan on broad framework of cooperation.

The idea was to open-up the first contact with Nawaz Sharif, even before his swearing-in, and convey India`s recognition of what Pakistani leader had said in his announced programme that he wants to build India-Pak relationship, the sources said.

It was also to convey that "we stood willing to engage with Pakistan on broad framework of cooperation," they added.

Noting that there were demands that there should be total
stoppage of dialogue with Pakistan after the beheading in January this year, the government sources said India still went ahead with the visit of Indo-Pak Judicial Committee on Prisoners to Pakistani jails in Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore.

They also said that the discussions on the visit by Pakistan Judicial Commission in the 26/11 case have also made progress and India hopes that it can be taken forward.

Asked about the Most Favoured Nation status, the sources said the matter will again be discussed at the level of Commerce Secretary, with India "certainly looking forward to implementation of this commitment (by Pakistan)."

He also said the two sides were also looking at cooperation in power sector, both LNG and electricity.

On possibility of Singh`s visit to Pakistan, the sources reiterated India`s position that the visit will only take place if there was useful and meaningful outcome.


First Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 21:07

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