Pak keen on moving ahead with 2nd round of dialogue



Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said it hoped that the second round of its current dialogue process with India, which began last year, would pave the way for a visit to Islamabad by the External Affairs Minister in July.

The second round of the dialogue is currently underway and the secretary-level talks on the Wullar barrage issue were recently held in New Delhi, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said during a weekly news briefing.

Dates are being worked out by the two sides for talks on other issues.

These talks will pave the way for a visit to Islamabad by India's External Affairs Minister in July to review the dialogue process, Basit said.

Responding to a question about Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's interaction with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in Seoul? Basit expressed confidence that the meeting would help push forward the negotiation process and make it result-oriented and meaningful.

The two leaders, during their brief interaction, had reiterated their commitment to the resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue, he said.

Asked about the construction of water reservoirs by India on the Jhelum river? Basit said under India is allowed to build dams on the run of the river under the Indus Waters Treaty.

Pakistan has no objections to those water projects that are in sync with the treaty, he added.

India and Pakistan resumed their dialogue process last year after a gap of over two years in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which were blamed on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Since the parleys resumed, the two sides have taken several steps to normalise relations, especially in trade.

Pakistan recently switched over to a negative list regime for trade, paving the way for giving India Most Favoured Nation-status by the beginning of next year.

PTI