Foreign Secretary-level talks were positive and very good: Pak

Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas JilaniISLAMABAD: Ahead of Indo-Pak Foreign Ministers meeting, the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries met here today for over two hours to take an overview of bilateral issues and to fix the agenda.

“Talks were positive and very good. We had an overview of issues before Foreign Minister-level talks and now we will brief our Ministers,” Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani told PTI here.

The talks between Jilani and his Indian counterpart Ranjan Mathai was a preparatory meeting to finalize the agenda for the parleys between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who arrived here today, and Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar tomorrow.

In today’s meeting, the Indian delegation, led by Mathai, included Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal, Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan) in the Ministry of External Affairs Yash Sinha and other senior officials.

The Pakistan delegation was led by Jilani and consisted of High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir, Director General (South Asia) at the Pakistan Foreign Office Zehra Akbari and others.

Both Foreign Secretaries reviewed the resumed dialogue between the two countries.

Both Ministers will also co-chair the Joint Commission Meeting tomorrow, which was revived in 2005 after a gap of 16 years. This is Krishna’s second visit to Pakistan in over two years.

Indian officials say that terrorism will form the core of New Delhi’s discussions, particularly the slow pace of the Mumbai attacks case.

Other issues likely to figure in the talks include those concerning prisoners as well as trade and border issues.

Agreements on a liberalized visa regime and cultural exchanges are expected to be signed during the visit. -PTI

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