Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan to resume in November

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The dialogue between India and Pakistan will resume on 13 November, when the Foreign Secretaries of both nations meet in New Delhi. The officials will discuss a wide range of issues, including the joint anti-terror mechanism, as a part of which India will offer its neighbour evidence of the involvement of Pakistani nationals and the ISI in the 11/7 blasts in Mumbai.

Shiv Shankar Menon, who served as India's High Commissioner to Islamabad before taking over as Foreign Secretary will meet his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan on the 13 and 14 of November to discuss and review the ongoing peace-process between the two countries. The talks were earlier put off following the July bombings and the subsequent indications of Pakistan's role in those attacks. New Delhi "hopes" that the discussions between these high-ranking officials will lead to the early implementation of the joint anti-terror mechanism, which was agreed upon by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pervez Musharraf during the NAM summit in Cuba earlier this year.

India is expected to hand over evidence, including telephone recording, of the Pakistani involvement in the bombings, and seek the extradition of suspects from Pakistan. Pakistan has said that India's claims of the ISI's hand in the attacks were "unsubstantiated" and "baseless" even though ivestigations revealed that 11 Pakistani nationals were directly involved in the blasts. "We have to give them evidence. We will give them credible evidence. We feel that there is involvement of elements (based) in Pakistan," Prime Minister Singh said. "We will test them once we have given them evidence."