Pak reluctant to discuss ISI issues with India

Last Updated: Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 21:01

Islamabad: Pakistan was on Thursday dismissive
of India`s attempts to raise fresh evidence of ISI`s links to
the 26/11 attacks at the upcoming Foreign Secretary-level
talks, stating clearly that the agenda would be limited to
three issues -- Kashmir, peace and security and friendly
exchanges.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua told a
weekly news briefing that Islamabad was in communication with
New Delhi to firm up dates for Indian Foreign Secretary
Nirupama Rao`s visit to Pakistan later this month for talks
with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir.

Asked if Pakistan would be open to discussing fresh
evidence on the Mumbai attacks during the Foreign
Secretary-level talks, Janjua said the agenda for the upcoming
meeting "is very clearly the three (issues) that have been
indicated" peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir and
friendly exchanges.

Counter-terrorism issues have already been discussed
during a meeting of the Interior and Home Secretaries held
earlier this year, she said.

"Whatever India provides us as fresh evidence or as
information is sent to the Interior Ministry, which examines
it based on ground realities," she said.

Responding to an Indian move to focus on fresh
evidence linking the ISI to the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan`s
Foreign Office yesterday said it was imperative to address the
"core issue" of Kashmir in the upcoming dialogue.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said on Monday
that the nexus between the ISI and the perpetrators of Mumbai
attacks, highlighted during Tahawwur Rana`s recent trial in
Chicago, will be taken up during the forthcoming talks.

Responding to a question, Janjua said Pakistan is
"desirous of a purposeful and result-oriented dialogue with
India for sustainable peace and development in South Asia".

Pakistan has had a "very substantive engagement" with
India since the dialogue process was revived earlier this
year, she added.

"The most important thing is that the governments of
India and Pakistan have agreed that the only way forward is
through dialogue and that is a very substantive point of
progress within the region," Janjua said.

The government and leadership of Pakistan have clearly
stated that peace between the two countries is critical for
development in the region, she said.

"For that, we need to have a substantive dialogue with
India on all issues and... those discussions are on track,"
Janjua said.

Confidence-building measures currently being
implemented by the two countries in Kashmir require a review,
she said.

The Foreign Secretary-level talks will carry out a
review of the CBMs and "see what are the possibilities", she
added.

Asked about possible American mediation between the
two countries, she replied: "Our discussions are ongoing. We
appreciate the US encouragement to both sides in this regard.

"As far as Pakistan and India are concerned, we are on
track with regard to the dialogue process."

In response to another question on the Indian
investigation into the 2007 Samjhauta Express train bombing
that killed nearly 70 people, including 42 Pakistanis, Janjua
said Islamabad is awaiting an update from New Delhi on the
probe.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 21:01

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