US Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in New Delhi on Saturday on a short visit as part of America's efforts to nudge India and Pakistan to resume dialogue and lower tensions.
''Ultimately we have to get to a dialogue or else we will just be stuck on a plateau which would not serve our interests. We do not want to be back where we were a few months ago, a few months from now,'' he told reporters who are accompanying him on the visit that will take him to Islamabad on Sunday.
''I am not expecting a breakthrough yet of the kind we saw a month or so ago...I just want to make sure we are not just stopped and I want to see what both sides might be willing to do to keep going down that escalatory ladder,'' he said.
Powell, who will be holding talks with External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha later on Saturday, said he would hear the perception of both sides on the issue of infiltration, a trend which is ''hard to measure with any level of precision.''
The US secretary of state, on his third visit to India and Pakistan since October last, said he would ask the leadership of the two countries ''how they want to get started with the dialogue."
''I think both sides now recognise the need for a dialogue. It is a question of timing and it is a question of expectations and conditions met. What I will have to do with
both Indians and Pakistanis is see where [a] comfortable beginning [to] a dialogue [can be made],'' he said.
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