Qureshi to visit India after evolving comprehensive agenda: Pak

Pakistan said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will visit India if the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries evolve a "comprehensive agenda".

Last Updated: Jan 08, 2011, 21:18 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Saturday said Foreign
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will visit India if the Foreign
Secretaries of the two countries evolve a "comprehensive
agenda" for resuming the stalled composite dialogue during
their meeting in Bhutan next month.

The Foreign Secretaries will meet for the first time
since September last year on the margins of the SAARC Standing
Committee meeting to be held in Bhutanese capital Thimphu
during February 6-7.

If the Foreign Secretaries succeed in evolving a
"comprehensive agenda for the resumption of the composite
dialogue, Foreign Minister Qureshi would definitely visit
India," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told the media.

"We are waiting for the outcome of the meeting of the
Foreign Secretaries to make a final decision (about Qureshi?s
visit to India)," he said.

Earlier, sources in the Pakistan government told that Islamabad will decide on accepting New Delhi`s standing
invitation for a visit by Qureshi after assessing the outcome
of the meeting of the Foreign Secretaries.

The sources said Pakistan had accepted an Indian
proposal for talks between the Foreign Secretaries.

Qureshi, who was invited to New Delhi by his Indian
counterpart S M Krishna in July last year, too has said he
will go ahead with the visit only if it results in
"substantial, meaningful and result-oriented talks."

The visit was originally scheduled for November last
year but was put off several times due to the ongoing chill in
bilateral ties.

India suspended the composite dialogue process in the
wake of the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008.

The terrorist assault on India`s financial hub was
blamed on Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba and its front,
Jamaat-ud-Dawah.

Since then, India has linked the resumption of the
peace process to Pakistan taking action against the
perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks and dismantling terrorist
infrastructure based on its soil.
Foreign Office spokesman Basit said Pakistan has
always favoured the composite dialogue with India because it
is the "only way to settle the longstanding Kashmir issue
amicably."

The Foreign Secretaries last met in New York on the
margins of the UN General Assembly session but were unable to
make any headway in their talks.

Pakistan has been insisting on a roadmap for future
engagements on issues like the Kashmir issue, the military
stand-off on the Siachen glacier and differences on the
sharing of river waters.

India has indicated it favours a phased approach, with
terrorism being among the top priorities. During a news
conference yesterday, External Affairs Minister Krishna
renewed his invitation for Qureshi to visit New Delhi.

The two Foreign Ministers last met in Islamabad in
July last year but their talks ended inconclusively.

PTI