India, Pakistan officials discuss peace process.Byline: Nilofar Suhrawardy
NEW DELHI New Delhi (dĕl`ē), city (1991 pop. 294,149), capital of India and of Delhi state, N central India, on the right bank of the Yamuna River. : As a follow-up to the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari Asif Ali Zardari (Urdu: آصف علی زرداری) (Sindhi:آصف علي زرداري) (born July 21, 1956) is the chief of the Zardari tribe and the held last month in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , National Security Advisers of the two countries held their first meeting here yesterday.
Singh and Zardari had taken the decision for this meeting between India's M.K. Narayanan and his Pakistani counterpart Mahmud Ali Durrani Mahmud Ali Durrani is the Pakistani ambassador to the United States. External links
India voiced its concern to Pakistan on recent increase in border cease-fire violations and the attack on its embassy in Kabul (July 7), for which Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Noun 1. Inter-Services Intelligence - the Pakistan intelligence agency; a powerful and almost autonomous political and military force; has procured nuclear technology and delivery capabilities; has had strong ties with the Taliban and other militant Islamic groups agency is blamed. These incidents do not augur augur: see omen. well for the ongoing peace process and composite dialogue, the Indian side said during the meeting.
Singh had raised these issues with his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani in Colombo on the sidelines On the sidelines
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Of or relating to investors who, having assessed the market, have decided to avoid committing their funds. of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC SAARC South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation ) summit in August. India also voiced its concern about the Indo-Pak dialogue process being under "strain," saying that its future was "uncertain."
Gilani had promised to hold an internal inquiry on ascertaining the involvement of ISI ISI International Sensitivity Index, see there in the Kabul attacks. Against this backdrop, Singh's subsequent meeting with Zardari has played a major role in bringing the Indo-Pak talks back on track. Durrani's India-visit on a positive note adds the needed momentum to the process.
Among the issues, which figured in yesterday's meeting was ways in which cease-fire violations could end. The Narayanan-Durrani meeting also focused on a special meeting of Indo-Pak joint anti-terror mechanism, the decision to hold which was also taken jointly by Singh and Zardari.
Despite the talks being held amid the backdrop of both countries having witnessed a spurt terrorist attacks, clearly neither India nor Pakistan wish to backtrack from the peace process they have embarked on. This is also symbolized by their holding talks on a positive note. Among the first comments made by Durrani, after his arrival here on Saturday on a five-day visit, were:
"I have an open agenda. Friendship is my agenda." Ahead of talks between the two NSAs, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said: "Durrani is an old friend. We have known him before. We know him and he has an interest in Indo-Pak relations for quite some years. Let us see what we can take forward."
Emphasizing that all issues would be discussed, Menon said: "We will discuss all the issues that concern us. Naturally, that includes what happened in Kabul, that includes the situation in terms of maintaining the cease-fire. We will do that."
Drawing attention to the Indo-Pak joint statement issued after Singh-Zardari talks, Menon said: "You have seen the joint statement and the determination to do something about these issues that affect us all."
With Durrani's visit the derailed foreign secretary-level dialogue is expected to be back on track. Foreign Secretaries of the two countries are to meet in Islamabad for the fifth round of composite dialogue. Menon and Durrani are understood to have a good a rapport as the former was posted in Islamabad as India's High Commissioner in 2003.
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