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`Indo-Pak talks imparted seriousness of purpose`

Last Updated: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 12:13

Islamabad: The talks between the Prime
Ministers of India and Pakistan has imparted a "seriousness of
purpose" to bilateral engagement with both sides agreeing to
finalise a calender of meetings to discuss all outstanding
issues in a result-oriented manner, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Friday.

"Pakistan had positively evaluated the talks and welcomed
India`s readiness for a broad ranging engagement," Khar said
in a statement issued here by the Foreign Office, a day after
Manmohan Singh met his Pakistani counterpart Yosuf Raza Gilani
on the margins of the SAARC summit in Maldives.

She said the bilateral summit in Maldives had
"contributed to impel a seriousness of purpose to the process
of engagement, with both sides reaffirming their commitment to
the pursuit of peace and discussing all outstanding issues,
including Jammu and Kashmir, in a result-oriented manner".

India and Pakistan had agreed during the talks to
finalise a calendar of meetings, Khar said.

They further agreed to convene meetings of technical
working groups prior to the holding of a meeting of the
Pakistan-India Joint Commission, she added.

Khar remarked that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and
his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh "had noted that
terrorism was a common problem".

She said: "Instead of remaining mired in accusations and
counter-accusations, the real way forward was cooperation."
The Interior and Home Secretaries of the two countries
had been mandated to discuss counter-terrorism and
counter-narcotics, she said.

Pakistan`s Interior Minister Rehman Malik "was prepared
to visit New Delhi and was awaiting dates for the visit from
India", Khar said.

Pakistan was also awaiting dates for the visit of a
Judicial Commission from India.

Though Khar did not give details, this commission is
expected to question Pakistani suspects charged with
involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Khar further said that the Mumbai attacks, the bombing of
the Samjhauta Express train and other terror-related matters
"needed to be addressed by both sides in the Interior-Home
Ministries segment".

After meeting Gilani, Prime Minister Singh yesterday
said, "the time has come to write a new chapter in the history
of two countries and the era of accusations and
counter-accusations should be behind us."


First Published: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 12:13
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