Indo-Pak Talks Constructive but There’s Lack of Trust: Rao

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said that the talks with Pakistani delegation were constructive, though there is an overriding need to restore trust and confidence between the two countries, reported Zeenews.

Coming directly from Hyderabad House, Rao said that India handed to Pakistan three dossiers – new leads on Mumbai attacks, new threats from Illyas Kashmiri and other terror groups on February 05, and a list of Indian fugitives believed to be in Pakistan including some new names, said report.

“We went into the talks with an open mind, but were also fully conscious of the large trust deficit that exists between the two countries,” she was quoted as saying.

About stand India took during talks, she said: “Our aims were modest, but we spelt forth our concerns on terrorism emanating from Pakistan or the territories under its control.”

“It is the duty of Pakistan to dismantle terror infrastructure targeted against India, said Rao adding, “steps taken by Pakistan to bring perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice are not enough.”

Rao further said that India stressed on the significance of expeditious action on the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks especially in view of the emergence of new leads from the US – Tahawwur Rana and David Headley.

She said that India apprised Pakistan of its concerns about slow progress in 26/11 trial and about Hafiz Saeed, said report.

However, Indian side remained discontented with Pakistan’s response that their anti-terror laws did not permit them to take action against individuals who make speeches.

“Obviously, we are not satisfied with this position,” Rao was quoted as saying.

About issues raised by Pakistan, she said that Pakistani delegation did bring up the issue of Balochistan but couldn’t produce any evidence and India told them firmly that India is not in any way interested in interfering in the internal matters of Pakistan, said report.

“The Kashmir issue also came up briefly, their position was on expected lines but we also stated our national position,” Rao was quoted as saying.

Among the other issue that Pakistan raised was the water sharing problem. Nirupama rao said that both the sides appreciated that this was an area that needed to be addressed through the Indus Water Treaty.

India, meanwhile, brought up the issue of beheading of the two Sikhs in Pakistan saying that Pakistan needed to protect its minority communities.

In response to a question about the conflicting interests of the two countries over Afghanistan, she said, “Afghanistan did not come up during talks.”

The foreign secretary elaborated that Pakistan was in favour of the resumption of the composite dialogue process, but were politely told to wait for the atmosphere to get better before they are resumed, said report.

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