M A I N   N E W S

Talks will focus on terrorism, Pak told
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 23
Two days before the crucial talks between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan, New Delhi is sticking to its guns that the talks would focus on terrorism and the meeting between the two top diplomats could not be interpreted as the resumption of the dialogue process.

Significance is, meanwhile, being attached to FBI chief Robert Mueller’s meeting with Home Minister P Chidambaram and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon ahead of the Indo-Pak talks. He is believed to have shared information about the probe related to Pakistani-born Amrican terror suspect David Coleman Headley’s links to the planning of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

New Delhi has succeeded in forcing Pakistan to change the composition of its delegation to the February 25 talks. The Pakistani team would no longer comprise representatives from the Water and Power ministries.

Islamabad wanted to raise the water issue in a big way but since the Water Ministry representative would not be there now, the two sides obviously would not hold in-depth discussion on the subject.

While New Delhi had made it clear that the focal point of the talks would be anti-India terrorism emanating from the Pakistani soil, Islamabad had insisted that the two Foreign Secretaries should be allowed to discuss any issue that has bedevilled ties between their two nations. Pakistan was said to be desirous of forcefully taking up Kashmir and water issues. It had also had sought the resumption of the composite dialogue process, suspended in the wake of the Mumbai carnage.



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