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India, Pak hold tough negotiations on Kashmir
September 05, 2004 18:32 IST
Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan on Sunday held tough negotiations on Kashmir and other outstanding issues even as Islamabad maintained that it was 'not unifocal' and ready to discuss all matters for ushering in peace in the subcontinent.
Khokhar, an old India hand who has served as high commissioner here, greeted Saran who turned 58 today.
"Let me take this opportunity to wish my friend a very happy birthday," Khokhar said. "It is very auspicious."
The two foreign secretaries will prepare the ground for the two-day meeting between External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri from tomorrow.
The 11-member Pakistani delegation, led by Khokhar, comprises High Commissioner to India, Aziz Ahmed Khan, Salman Bashir, Additional Secretary, Jalil Abbas Jilani, Director General (South Asia), Masood Khan, DG (UN) and Foreign Office spokesman, Munawar Saeed, Deputy High Commissioner, Zehra Akbari, Director (Kashmir Affairs), Tehmina Janjua, Director (Foreign Secretary's office), Tariq Zameer, Director (India), Moazzam A Khan, Counsellor at the mission in Delhi and Irfan Shaukat, Assistant Director (India).
The Indian side had High Commissioner to Pakistan, Shiv Shankar Menon, Arun K Singh, Joint Secretary, Navtej Sarna, External Affairs Ministry spokesman, Syed Akbaruddin, Director (Foreign Secretary's office), Monika Mohta, Director and Deepak Mittal, Under Secretary.
Seventy-two proposals made by India, including several confidence-building measures (CBMs) and several proposed by Pakistan during the talks on the composite dialogue process will come up for review.
New Delhi expects progress on several of its proposals aimed at enhancing people-to-people contacts and economic cooperation.
Ahead of the talks, the government received the backing of UPA partners and the opposition in carrying forward the peace process.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a breakfast meeting with NDA Chairman Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday and External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh met UPA leaders as also his predecessors Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh as part of efforts to evolve a broad consensus.
New Delhi while reaffirming its commitment to the dialogue process is likely to convey its serious concerns over increase in infiltration and incidents of violence in Jammu and Kashmir in June and July.
It is expected to remind the Pakistani side of President Pervez Musharraf's commitment made in January this year that no part of territory in Pakistan and under its control would be allowed to be used for terrorism against India.
New Delhi has expressed its readiness to consider making the Line of Control "softer" to enable enhanced people-to-people contacts but made it clear that conversion of the LoC into an international border was not acceptable to it.
Easing of visa restrictions, agreement on advance notification of missile tests, release of civilian prisoners and steps to facilitate trade and economic cooperation are expected to be taken up during the parleys.