Talks with Bashir unlikely to lead to 'big change': Rao



Islamabad: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Tuesday said her talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir on the margins of a SAARC committee meeting in Bhutan early next month were not expected to lead to any "big change" or "dramatic breakthrough."

India continues to have concerns about terrorism, Rao said during an interaction in New Delhi with a visiting group of Pakistani journalists.

Referring to her upcoming meeting with Bashir in Thimphu, she said the parleys were not expected to lead to any "big change" or "dramatic breakthrough," Geo News channel reported.

However, India is hopeful that progress will be made during next month's talks and this will be helpful for the stalled peace process between the two countries, Rao was quoted as saying by the channel.

India does not want any photo opportunities and is not shying away from talks, Rao said. India wants dialogue with Pakistan as it is good for both countries, she said.

India also wants a peaceful and progressive Pakistan as its neighbour, she said.

At the same time, Pakistan should take steps to eliminate terrorism emanating from its soil, she said.

Rao voiced India's concerns about the slow pace of the trial in Pakistan of seven suspects, including Lashker-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who have been charged with planning and facilitating the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

She further said India has not closed the doors to Pakistan's request to send a commission to interview key persons linked to the Mumbai attacks, including Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving attacker, and civil and police officials involved in the probe into the incident.

India had sent some questions regarding the proposed commission to Pakistan and progress could be made when the responses are received, Rao was quoted as saying.

PTI