Indian offer of talks positive: Pakistan


Islamabad : Pakistan Friday termed the Indian offer of foreign secretary-level talks a “positive development” and said it had sought clarifications on the agenda for discussions. It also reiterated that terrorism could not alone be the topic for the dialogue.

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“Overall it is a positive development and we welcome it,” Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit said in a telephonic interview with a private TV channel.

After the receipt of the Indian proposal, Pakistan has sought a clarification about the agenda and a reply is awaited, he said. As soon as India responds to this step, further progress would take place, he was quoted as saying by APP.

Basit also said Pakistan sought a sustained and meaningful engagement with India, adding the two countries have a number of issues between them and terrorism was one of them.

At the same time, he said that terrorism alone could not be the topic of dialogue between the two countries. “If the Indians think so, it would not be an appropriate approach to restart the engagement.”

Basit’s remarks came a day after it was made known in New Delhi that India had sent a formal proposal to Pakistan for talks between their foreign secretaries and had pledged to pursue the discussions with “an open and positive mind”.

New Delhi, however, made it clear that the talks would focus primarily on counter-terrorism. According to sources in New Delhi Thursday, it indicated “that other issues that will contribute to creating an atmosphere of peace and stability between the two countries will also be raised”.

“Dates are being discussed for the meeting between the foreign secretaries,” the sources said, adding that it could happen later this month.