Pranab to attend SAARC meet

At a time when both Sri Lanka and Pakistan are high on the country’s foreign policy agenda,External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee...

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published:February 20, 2009 12:15 am

At a time when both Sri Lanka and Pakistan are high on the country’s foreign policy agenda,External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is headed for Colombo for the SAARC foreign ministers’ meeting on February 27 and 28.

The meeting would serve as an opportunity for India to raise issues of bilateral concern with both Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It would also turn out to be the first encounter between Mukherjee and Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmoud Qureishi after the Mumbai terror attacks.

Dealing with the 26/11 aftermath,New Delhi will take this opportunity to raise Pakistan’s responsibility as enshrined in the SAARC Convention on Suppression of Terrorism,which makes it incumbent on Islambad to hand over the Mumbai terror suspects to the Indian authorities.

The issue of Sri Lankan Tamils — caught in a battle between LTTE and the Sri Lankan Army – will also be raised by the Indian government with that country’s foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama.

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