Pak Top Leadership Holds Meetings to Discuss Indian Offer

After India’s formal proposal of foreign secretary level talks, Pakistan’s top leadership has met to deliberate up the Indian offer, which was general welcomed in Islamabad, reported IANS.

Report said that the meetings, which involved President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani were conducted on Thursday evening, hours after it was made known in New Delhi that India had formally proposed talks with Pakistan.

According to report, first Zardari and Kayani first held a one-on-one meeting, with Gilani joining them later. Zardari subsequently hosted a dinner that Qureshi also attended.

Dawn reported that the meetings, which also discussed issues pertaining to national security and the ongoing drive against extremism and militancy, gained ‘added significance’ as they ‘took place in the backdrop of the latest Indian offer of talks’.

However, Farhatullah Babar, presidential spokesperson, declined to comment on the meetings.

“But political observers are attaching importance to the meetings at a time when India has formally proposed foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan. The presence of the foreign minister indicated that the Indian offer of resuming dialogue with Pakistan must have figured prominently in the discussion,” Dawn noted.

The foreign office, meanwhile, said on Thursday it had sought clarifications from New Delhi on the proposal for talks.

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