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Pakistan seeks early resumption of dialogue with India

Last updated on: January 09, 2014 20:28 IST

Pakistan on Thursday sought the early resumption of the stalled dialogue process with India but acknowledged forward movement was unlikely before the upcoming Indian general elections.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told a weekly news briefing that Pakistan has all along emphasised the need for the early resumption of the dialogue.

"We hope that it would take place as soon as possible, but again, there are no dates. Also, as you are aware, India is heading towards elections and we don't know if we can expect to resume the dialogue process before elections," she said.

Replying to a question about a possible visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before the end of his term in May, Aslam said there were no confirmed dates for a trip

"This question was also asked at the last press briefing and we said that yes, there was an outstanding invitation which was accepted. We would welcome the visit if it takes place."

Aslam further said Pakistan and the US are finalising the dates for a proposed review of their strategic dialogue process. Sartaj Aziz, the Prime Minister's Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and United States Secretary of State John Kerry will co-chair the review meeting which may take place in Washington, she said.

The two sides have five working groups for cooperation in different sectors and three of them met recently. Two groups, dedicated to counter-terrorism and defence cooperation, are yet to meet.

Image: Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam

Photograph: Reuters

Snehesh Alex Philip in Islamabad
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