New Delhi, June 19: India will seek a "satisfactory closure" to the Mumbai terror attacks case when it will hold extensive bilateral talks with Pakistan later this week during which they will also review the nuclear Confidence Building Measures (CBMs).
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, accompanied by a high-level official delegation, will be on a visit to Islamabad from June 23-24 to hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir. During the talks, India will raise its concerns over terror directed against it from the Pakistani soil.
“Our concerns have not, in any way, diminished by the resumption of dialogue...through dialogue you keep the chain of communication open...How can our concerns of terrorism not be addressed by us? (and that is why we have to raise them)...terrorism is central to our concerns,” government sources said here.
Peace and Security, including CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir, and Promotion of Friendly Exchanges will be the components of the talks, which will also cover continuing threat posed by terrorism, the sources said.
Asserting that the series of meetings between the two sides so far including in the area of security, trade and commerce and, water have given a “better understanding” of each-other's position on several bilateral issues, they said Rao was going for talks with “open and constructive mind” with “realistic expectations”.
These are also in the run-up to the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries next month, sources said, while maintaining that absence of a cabinet-rank Foreign Minister in Pakistan will not have an impact on the process.
The two sides will also review the status of existing nuclear CBMs between India and Pakistan, of prior missile notification mechanism and annual exchange of list of nuclear installations in the respective countries.
An expert-level group including joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs will hold a comprehensive meeting with the Pakistani side later this year on the nuclear CBMs. However, no dates have been finalised for the meeting so far.
Disappointed over the “glacial pace” of the Mumbai trial in Pakistan, the government sources said India has provided all documents and evidence asked by Islamabad and seeks a “satisfactory closure” to the case. “It is not behind us,” they said.
India will also discuss the “larger conspiracy” as has come out in the trial of Pakistani-Canadian terrorist Tahawwur Rana in a Chicago court. “It is not as if we have let our guards down,” the sources said, when asked if India will raise the terror issue in the backdrop of the revelations made during the Rana trial.
On J&K, which is a core issue for Pakistan, sources said, “This is a problem which has complicated our relationship for years.....and cannot be solved overnight.” But emphasised the need to put in more CBMs such as people-to-people contact and increased trade for the betterment of the Kashmiris.
The officials also ruled out any impact on the talks of the recent diplomatic face-off between India and Pakistan over their naval warships allegedly resorting to ‘risky' and ‘dangerous' manoeuvres after hijacked MV Suez was freed by Somali pirates.
However, they were quick to add that “India is a more grown up country” when asked why India lodged its formal protest a day after Pakistan. PTI