Indo-Pak talks: Be realistic, says Rao
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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 21:53
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said in an interview on Wednesday, ahead of the Indo-Pak talks, that terror will be the focus of tomorrow’s confabulations with the neighbour.

Stating about the need to deal with issues delicately, the India’s Foreign Secretary asserted about being realistic and identifying problem areas to create space for meetings.

She said that Thursday’s talks will aim at bridging the trust deficit between the two countries that share a 60-year-old relationship which has been ridden with complications.

Thrusting on terrorism and related issues, Rao remarked that India would approach the dialogue with a clear understanding of the difficulties and make sincere efforts.

Putting the onus on Pakistan, she affirmed that India had expectations from Pakistan to do more on the terror front.

India, Pak Foreign Secretaries to meet tomorrow

Aiming to bridge the trust deficit between India and Pakistan, Foreign Secretaries of the two countries will meet here tomorrow amid India's emphasis that both sides needed to make "dedicated" and "focussed" attempts to address difficulties affecting their relations.

Rao, the first senior Indian official to visit Pakistan since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, arrived here this evening for talks which are expected to be dominated by the issue of cross-border terrorism that has been preventing improvement of ties.

She arrived at the Military Air Base in Rawalpindi, on the outskirts of Islamabad, by a special aircraft. Her counterpart Salman Bashir would host an informal dinner in her honour tonight.

Rao will meet her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in pursuance of an understanding reached between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Yusuf Raza Gilani in Thimphu on the sidelines of SAARC Summit that their Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries would discuss ways to reduce trust deficit.

Rao and Bashir would be preparing the ground for the meeting between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on July 15.

At tomorrow's talks, the Indian side is expected to flag is concerns with regard to continued threat of terrorism emanating from Pakistan, particularly from the outfits like Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Rao is also expected to press the Pakistani side to bring to book all those behind the Mumbai attacks, including Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed whom India considers the "mastermind" but continues to roam freely in Pakistan. Before her departure for Islamabad, Rao said that the visit was a kind of exploration for reducing trust deficit that exists between the two countries.

Noting that Indo-Pak relations have seen ups and downs and tremendous levels of difficulties for the last 60 years, she said: "We are going there with a clear-eyed understanding of these difficulties and there complexities."

She underlined that the core concern of terrorism was high on her mind as she approaches the talks. "We are there also with the conviction that if India and Pakistan have to develop, be strong and prosperous and lives of their people have to be improved, then the governments of the two countries have to make a dedicated, focused and sincere attempt to address these difficulties," she told a television channel. "I can't come before you and say that there is a magic formulae with which we can solve these problems. We can't just wave a wand and expect everything to disappear suddenly. I think we have to clear-eyed and be realistic," she said.

First Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 21:53

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