Pak says ‘forward’ movement on foreign secys meeting

Pak says 'forward' movement on foreign secys meetingNEW DELHI: Pakistan is in touch with India for a meeting between their foreign secretaries as had been decided during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in May.

This was stated by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit during an interaction with the media at the Press Club of India here.

“We are in touch with each other and things are moving forward,” Basit said while replying to a question on the issue.

Asked about “delay” in trial of 26/11 attack accused and the reported threat to prosecutors handling the case, Basit refused to give a direct reply but said Pakistan was committed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Anjum have been charged with planning, financing and executing the attacks in India’s financial capital that killed 166 people in November 2008.

Replying to a separate question on granting of Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to India by Pakistan, he said Commerce Ministers of both the countries will meet on July 24 and hinted that the issue may figure in the talks.

India had accorded MFN status to Pakistan in 1990s and removed some non-tariff barriers while Pakistan had agreed to return the favor in 2011. However, it is yet to accord the status to India.

Pitching for better ties with India, the Pakistani envoy sought “engagement without interruption” between the two countries to combat various challenges including menace of terrorism and said improved Indo-Pak relation was key to regional peace and stability.

Stressing on the need to leave behind the “stereotypes” Pakistan and India have about each other, Basit, participating in the Meet the Press program, said all outstanding issues should be resolved on the basis of mutual respect.

Holding that genesis of all issues stemmed from dispute over Jammu and Kashmir, the Pakistani envoy expressed his government’s resolve for better ties with India and said engagement without interruption will be fundamental to achieve something.

Replying to a query on the possibility of Modi visiting Pakistan, Basit said his country hopes that the “high-level” visit will take place and he will be given a warm welcome there.

Noting that there was compatibility between thinking of his government and new ruling dispensation in India, he said both countries need each other to deal with major challenges like terrorism and climate change.–PTI

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