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Positive indicators coming from Pak: Mathai

November 05, 2011 16:15 IST
Ahead of the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani next week, India on Saturday said there have been some "positive indicators" of "forward movement" from Islamabad.

Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai also said India was looking forward to the visit of the judicial commission from Pakistan in connection with the Mumbai terror attack case. "There have been some positive indicators in the last few weeks. The joint secretary has issued a statement on the release of the helicopter, which strayed into their territory.

"This decision in principle by their cabinet on MFN. These are, we can say are indications of forward movement," Mathai said responding to a question on India's relations with Pakistan. He said prime minister is committed to building relations with Pakistan on a more stable and normal basis.

Singh-Gilani meeting will come within days of an Indian Army chopper straying into Pakistan occupied Kashmir due to bad weather, an incident which was amicably resolved in record time by the two countries, surprising many. "We would also look forward to the visit of judicial commission. This is another area..."

Mathai said the prime minister has in principle agreed that he would hold bilateral talks with all the SAARC regional neigbhours and the schedule is being worked out.

Asked about the reasons for the positive indicators from Pakistan, Mathai said the neighbouring country needs to be asked so.

"But broadly, I think we have been consistent in seeking a relationship that is stable, normal in which minor incidents should not derail the overall trend towards a more cooperative and constructive relationship between us as neighbours," he said.

Mathai added trade is one aspect on which India has been holding out the hand of cooperation to Pakistan. "The PM mentioned on Friday while answering questions in Cannes that we infact extended the MFN status to Pakistan back in 1996 and as he remarked der aye durust aye (better late than never)," he said.

 

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