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India, Pakistan foreign secretaries talks end


Islamabad/New Delhi : The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan Thursday ended their talks in Islamabad, which will firm up the agenda for the meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries next month.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao began delegation-level talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir on bilateral issues earlier this morning in the first such meeting in Islamabad since the Mumbai terror attack in a bid to revive the bilateral dialogue.

After the meeting ended, Rao went to call on Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Qureshi are scheduled to meet in Islamabad July 15.

According to media reports, India raised the issue of cross-border terrorism with Pakistani officials during the talks.

The Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram will be travelling to Pakistan to take part in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) home ministers’ conference June 26.

This was the first round of talks since the thaw initiated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani nearly two months ago, directing their foreign ministers and secretaries to meet and work out modalities of restoring trust between them.

New Delhi has said it was going into these talks in an “exploratory mode” and “not in an accusatory mode” to work out confidence-building steps that could pave the way for a renewed full-fledged bilateral dialogue.