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India, Pak chalk out schedule for resuming dialogue
Islamabad sends a set of dates when two sides can meet for third round of talks
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

Making a Fresh start

Sources said Pakistan High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir had recently met Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and conveyed to him Islamabadís proposal for talks on the Tulbul Navigation Project on August 27-28 and Sir Creek on September 16-17

The two are also understood to have discussed the upcoming meeting between PM Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York in September-end

The third round of dialogue had begun in September last year. The tension over the beheading of an Indian soldier on the border, however, led to its postponement

New Delhi, July 28
India today confirmed that it was in touch with Pakistan to Ďidentify mutually convenientí dates for convening the remaining Secretary-level meetings of the third round of the bilateral dialogue process which has been stalled since January this year.

Official sources said New Delhi had received a set of dates from Pakistan for the meetings to be hosted by Islamabad.

It is learnt that Pakistan High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir had recently met Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and formally conveyed to him Islamabadís proposal for talks on the Tulbul Navigation Project/ Wullar Barrage issue on August 27-28 and Sir Creek on September 16-17.

The two are also understood to have discussed the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York on the margins of the UN General Assembly meet in September-end.

The third round of dialogue had begun in September last year with a meeting between the Commerce Secretaries of the two countries in Islamabad. The Water Resources Secretaries were scheduled to meet in January for talks on the Tulbul Navigation Project but the tension over the beheading of an Indian soldier on the border led to the postponement of the talks. Officially, New Delhi stated that the meeting had been deferred due to the retirement of then Water Secretary Dhruv Vijay Singh.

As per the roadmap for dialogue agreed upon between the two sides, Pakistan will host talks on the Tulbul Navigation Project and Sir Creek issues besides a meeting of the Foreign Secretaries on Jammu and Kashmir and peace and security. India will host the meetings of the Home and Defence Secretaries, followed by talks between the Foreign Ministers to review the overall progress in the dialogue process.

Officials on both sides are also working on dates for meetings of the eight technical groups of the India-Pakistan Joint Commission. Four meetings would be held in Islamabad and four in Delhi between September and October. The decision to resume the dialogue was taken at a meeting between External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Pakistan PMís Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on the sidelines of ASEAN meetings in Brunei early this month. Pakistan PMís Special Envoy Shaharyar Khan had also met Manmohan Singh in New Delhi early this month to convey Islamabad's desire to resume dialogue.

The eight items included in the dialogue framework are: Siachen; Tulbul Navigation Project/Wullar Barrage; Sir Creek; economic and commercial cooperation and friendly exchanges; terrorism and drug trafficking; peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir.

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