Preconditions for talks unacceptable: Pakistan


Islamabad: Pakistan said Thursday that preconditions for talks with India were unacceptable and hoped that New Delhi would come to the negotiating table to solve all pending issues including Kashmir.

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“Pakistan would like the process of engagement leading to the resumption of the composite dialogue,” foreign office spokesman Abdul Basit said at his weekly briefing.

Holding that dialogue was necessary to establish viable peace in the region, he said Pakistan wanted a result-oriented dialogue with India and hoped that New Delhi “would not thwart the talks this time”, Online news agency reported.

He said the foreign office had not yet responded to the Indian proposal of secretary-level talks and the country’s top leadership would take a final decision on this.

New Delhi has suggested two dates – Feb 18 or Feb 25 – for talks between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan, saying that while the focus would be on countering terrorism, other matters of mutual concern could also be discussed.

Pakistan has been harping on the resumption of the composite dialogue process that India suspended in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, which New Delhi blamed on Pakistani terrorists.

India says it is premature to talk about resuming the composite dialogue now and has made it clear to Pakistan that the proposed foreign secretary-level talks are part of “a step-by-step incremental approach” and Islamabad should “do more” to address Indian concerns over cross-border terror.