Absence of terror will help India, Pak ties

New Delhi, July 23 (ANI): As India and Pakistan prepare for yet another round of Foreign Ministerial talks, this time in New Delhi, official sources indicate that some confidence building measures will be announced, but the general pace of the talks will be slow.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna will host his Pakistan counterpart, 34-year-old Hina Rabbani Khar, for discussions in New Delhi on July 27th. The Pakistan Foreign Secretary, Salman Bashir, will hold talks with Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao prior to this meeting on the 26th. The two foreign secretaries had met in Islamabad last month.

Government sources said that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Thimpu last year provided the mandate for the India-Pakistan dialogue, which was to work out modalities for restoring trust and confidence in the relationship and create an atmosphere for successful dialogue.

A series of secretary level meetings have been held in the past year of Interior, Water, Defence and Foreign Office ministries to bridge differences and work on sustained dialogue.

Sources said that India was going forward with the foreign secretary and foreign ministerial level talks with Pakistan with optimism and an open mind, as it desires peaceful relations with its neighbour. India has conveyed to Pakistan that it is ready to discuss all issues with it, but for a meaningful dialogue it has to be done in an atmosphere free of terror and an atmosphere free of the threat of terror.

In this context, India is in touch with Pakistan to bring the 26/11 trials to expeditious conclusions so that the guilty are brought to justice. This is extremely important to India and has been conveyed to Pakistan, said sources.lso, on the agenda will be steps to be taken to promote friendly ties, reduce trade barriers and the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. By Smita Prakash (ANI)