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Pak Foreign Minister in Delhi, talks today
Foreign Secretaries Rao, Bashir meet to finalise agenda 
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar arrives at the Air Force station in New Delhi on Tuesday
Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar arrives at the Air Force station in New Delhi on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, July 26
“I bring the good wishes of the people of Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan,” said Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar soon after her arrival in New Delhi today for her much-anticipated talks with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna tomorrow.

With the visit to India being seen as an acid test for her, the 34-year-old first woman Foreign Minister of Pakistan made the right noises in an attempt to impress not only her host but also those in Western capitals who have been keenly monitoring her first major diplomatic assignment.

“I hope that these two countries have learnt lessons from history but are not burdened by history and we can move forward as good, friendly neighbours who have stake in each other’s future and both countries understand their responsibilities to the region and within the region,” she said as she was received by Pakistan High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik, Indian envoy to Pakistan Sharad Sabharwal and Y K Singh, Joint Secretary, in-charge of Pakistan, in the External Affairs Ministry.

The talks are unlikely to throw up any major policy statements, but they are being seen as another step in improving relations between the two neighbours.

Hina’s first major engagement in the Indian capital was a meeting with Kashmiri separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani. Hardline Hurriyat leader Geelani, who met Khar at the Pakistan High Commission, said he had apprised the Pakistani Foreign Minister of the situation in Kashmir.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, meanwhile, met her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir to finalise the agenda for the talks between their foreign ministers.

According to MEA spokesman Vishnu Prakash, the two foreign secretaries had “very cordial and positive discussions” at which they reviewed the progress in talks between different ministries and organisations of the two countries in the preceding months. The foreign secretaries would be briefing their respective foreign ministers of their discussions, he added.

The two top diplomats are said to have finalised some important cross-Line of Control confidence building measures (CBMs) to be announced by their foreign ministers after the talks tomorrow.

It is understood that India impressed upon Pakistan the necessity of bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks. New Delhi is also believed to have emphasised that an atmosphere free from terror ought to be created for meaningful talks between the two countries. An agency report said India is also understood to have handed over to the Pakistani delegation the revised list of ‘most wanted’ fugitives containing 48 names.





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