Road-map for resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue unveiled

New Delhi: Unveiling the road-map for resumption of a comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan, India on Thursday announced that the Home Secretaries of the two countries will hold talks on counter-terrorism, including progress on 26/11 trial in Rawalpindi court, ahead of Foreign Minister S M Qureshi`s visit here by July.

In a statement `Agreed Outcome of India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary-level talks in Thimphu`, Ministry of External Affairs said Secretary-level talks on the issues of counter-terrorism (including progress on Mumbai trial); humanitarian issues; peace and security, including CBMs; Jammu and Kashmir; promotion of friendly exchanges; Siachen and economic issues will be held in the next few months.

Discussions on issues such as Wullar barrage or Tulbul navigation project and Sir Creek will be at the level of Additional Secretaries or Surveyors General.

List of issues mentioned in the statement are same as in the Composite Dialogue, that was halted by India after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The ministry said, "the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan met in Thimphu on February 6, 2011 to carry forward this process. They briefed their respective Governments."

The agreed statement was issued simultaneously both in New Delhi and Islamabad today.

About the schedule of the meetings, the ministry said dates will be fixed through diplomatic channels. But given the fact that the two sides have just few months left before Qureshi`s visit here, the series of interactions are expected to start shortly.

In pursuance of the mandate given by the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, following their meeting in Thimphu in April 2010, the two Foreign Ministers had met in Islamabad in July 2010 to review the current state of the bilateral relationship and discuss steps to promote trust and confidence between the two countries, it said.

After the meeting of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her counterpart Salman Bashir last Sunday, India and Pakistan have agreed to resume dialogue on all issues following the spirit of the Thimphu meeting between the two Prime Ministers.

"The Foreign Minister of Pakistan will visit India by July 2011 to review progress in the dialogue process with his counterpart. This will be preceded by a meeting of the two Foreign Secretaries," MEA said.

"They have agreed that prior to the visit of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, meetings at the level of respective Secretaries will be convened on counter-terrorism (including progress on Mumbai trial); humanitarian issues; peace and security, including CBMs; Jammu and Kashmir; promotion of friendly exchanges; Siachen; economic issues; Wullar Barrage/ Tulbul Navigation Project; and Sir Creek (at the level of Additional Secretaries/Surveyors General)," it said.