India rules out composite dialogue
New Delhi, Feb 17: Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik Wednesday met Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao here for preparatory discussions ahead of the talks between India and Pakistan later this month.
The envoy visited South Block and met Rao around 12.30 pm. Officials described the meeting as a preparatory discussion for the talks to be held between the foreign secretaries of the two countries on February 25 here.
This will be the first significant official-level standalone meeting between the two countries after India suspended composite dialogue following the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai.
India insists it will only raise the issue of Pakistan’s action on terror groups on its soil at the talks. But Pakistan wants wider discussions.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna today said there is no question of restarting the Composite Dialogue Process (CDP) with Pakistan. He said upcoming coming foreign-secretary level talks will focus on the issue of terrorism.
“The talks at the level of foreign secretaries level are aimed at carrying forward the core issue of terror and terror driven activities. We thought that it is necessary to engage Pakistan in this very critical area,” Krishna said in an interview soon after Malik met Rao.
The minister said that: “We do not know what issues Pakistan foreign secretary Salman Bashir is going to raise at the meeting. The brief for our Secretary is that terror is the centre and focus point of talks,” he further stated.
“If there is a better suggestion in terms of alternative the government is willing to consider those alternatives,” he said.
Krishna also clarified that the composite dialogues between India and Pakistan have been suspended and will not happen anytime soon.
“The composite dialogues process is suspended. Let the nation be not mistaken that the composite dialogues is being revived. The issue that we raised remains to be addressed by Pakistan with a degree of seriousness,” he said.
The Minister said that India had given enough evidence to Pakistan on the masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai attack.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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