India hopes to pick 'bugs' in ties with Pakistan
On the eve of the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks, India on Wednesday said it is making a "determined bid" to work out a cordial relationship with Pakistan and that all issues that "bug" the ties, including terrorism, will be discussed.
At the two-day meeting beginning in Islamabad on Thursday, India is also expected to raise the issue of the slow pace of ongoing Mumbai terror case trial in Pakistan as well as the larger conspiracy behind the 26/11 attacks.
"All issues that bug our relationship are going to be discussed when Foreign Secretary visits Islamabad," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told media persons accompanying him on his way back home after a three-day visit to Myanmar.
He, however, asked everyone to refrain from speculating about the talks, saying "let not expectations be pitched too high because this is one of the relationships we are trying to cultivate in the last few months."
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Image: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna
'Terrorism is going to be one of the issues'
After the setback in the relations between India and Pakistan post-Mumbai terror attacks, Krishna said he thinks "we are making a determined bid to work out a cordial relationship."
Asked whether India would raise the issue of terrorism during the meeting, he said: "Terrorism is going to be one of the issues that is going to be naturally discussed with Pakistan. The whole region is terror-infested. I would only said all issues concerning terrorism and various other issues between our countries will be discussed."
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said the issue of "terrorism that inflicts our region is of utmost concern to everyone in the region."
Rao said: "What Pakistan has been telling us in the recent months and days is that Pakistan is seriously affected by this problem and that many Pakistanis have also fallen victim to terrorism."
Image: Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao
'The ongoing 26/11 trial in Pakistan has moved rather slowly'
Asked about her recent statement that India seeks "satisfactory closure" from Pakistan with regard to Mumbai attacks, she said, "There is an ongoing trial in Pakistan and it has rather moved slowly."
"When we talk of closure, what we are implying is that justice should be done in this matter and those responsible for triggering this terror attacks and also conspired to attack our people should be brought to justice. This is what closure means."
Talking about her upcoming talks, Rao said the idea was to reduce trust deficit and build more confidence in the Indo-Pak relations and to strengthen exchanges between the two countries to have a "meaningful dialogue on all outstanding issue that have complicated our relationship in the past."
'Confidence building has to include a number of areas'
She said the talks were not an "event" but a process and that both sides will exchange ideas that she hopes will lead to more understanding and more confidence.
Asked about the confidence building measures on the nuclear front, Rao said: "Confidence building has to include a number of areas and if we do more to reduce the tensions between the two countries and to reduce the trust deficit, it will greatly promote the relationships between the two countries. So, it makes sense to discuss confidence building measures in all these areas."