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Rao to hold talks on June 24 to finalise FMs’ meeting agenda

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir here on June 24 to finalise the agenda for an upcoming meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the two countries.



Islamabad: Indian Foreign Secretary
Nirupama Rao will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart
Salman Bashir here on June 24 to finalise the agenda for an
upcoming meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the two
countries.

Rao is scheduled to arrive in the capital on June 23
and will hold talks with the Pakistani Foreign Secretary the
following day, diplomatic sources said.

The parleys will focus on the agenda for a meeting
between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and External
Affairs Minister S M Krishna to be held in Islamabad on July
15, the sources said.

Qureshi had recently said that Rao would accompany
Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram when he travelled to
Islamabad to attend a SAARC Interior Ministers meeting on June
26. However, sources said the Indian Foreign Secretary had
decided to advance her visit due to other engagements.

An inter-ministerial meeting will be held tomorrow to
finalise Islamabad`s approach to the meeting between the two
Foreign Secretaries, the sources said.

Besides representatives from key ministers like
foreign affairs and interior, the meeting will also be
attended by officials of the Inter-Services Intelligence
agency.

Rao will be the first senior Indian official to travel
to Pakistan since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. India
suspended the composite dialogue process following the
attacks, which were blamed on the Pakistan-based
Lashkar-e-Toiba.

At a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines
of the SAARC summit in Bhutan in April, the two countries
decided to resume their peace process.

India has said the two sides should adopt a phased
approach towards the normalisation of relations.

An Indian court recently convicted and sentenced to
death Pakistani national Ajmal Kasab for his role in the
Mumbai attacks that claimed the lives of 166 people.

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court is conducting the
trial of seven suspects, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman
Lakhvi, for allegedly planning and facilitating the attacks.

PTI

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