India proposes July 27 for Krishna’s Pakistan visit

Talks: Mathai and Jilani discuss peace,security and Jammu & Kashmir

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published: July 5, 2012 3:26:10 am

In a move aimed at conveying that bilateral talks will not be derailed despite fresh revelations of Pakistan’s role in the 26/11 terror attacks,India on Wednesday proposed fresh dates for External Affairs Minister S M Krishna’s visit to Pakistan in July last week.

Top sources told The Indian Express that it was conveyed to visiting Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani that Krishna would be able to travel to Pakistan for talks on July 27. The date has been proposed keeping in view that the monsoon session of Parliament is expected to begin on July 30.

New Delhi and Islamabad will now firm up the dates,after checking Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s availability during that period.

India had postponed Krishna’s visit on July 18 and 19 as it clashed with the presidential elections. While there were chances of putting off the visit till the monsoon session of Parliament got over,both sides were of the view that delaying the visit will be perceived negatively in both countries.

The urgency to undertake the visit assumed significance,especially after the arrest of Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal,as both sides wanted to convey the message that the dialogue process should not be held hostage to these new revelations.

The understanding in New Delhi is that Krishna’s visit at an early date ensures a wider window period for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit — sometime later this year. While much of the deliverables need to be worked on to set the stage for the Prime Minister’s visit,New Delhi is serious about the invitation from the Pakistan side.

In fact,during talks with Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai on Wednesday,Jilani brought up the issue of the Prime Minister’s visit before the end of this year. While no firm commitment has been made,there were discussions that Singh may visit any time between September and November.

Sources said Mathai and Jilani also discussed the meeting for cross-LoC Confidence Building Measures,which will be taken up before the meeting of the foreign ministers,likely to be held on July 19.

Both sides,however,refused to divulge details of the conversation between the two foreign secretaries.

“The foreign secretaries along with their respective delegations have had two full sessions of detailed discussions covering all aspects of the agenda under the items Peace and Security as well as Jammu and Kashmir,” said Syed Akbaruddin,spokesperson for Ministry of External Affairs. “At the end of the two sessions the foreign secretaries agreed to resume the talks tomorrow,July 5.”

No Ansari dossier to be given to Pak during foreign secy talks

Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said that no dossier on 26/11 handler Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal would be given to Pakistan during the foreign secretary-level talks. “No dossier would be given at this stage but the foreign secretary has been briefed. If he feels,he can share it with them,” he said. Ansari was caught in Saudi Arabia while travelling on a Pakistani passport issued in the name of Riyasat Ali. He was also found carrying a national identity card issued by the Pakistani government. Ministry of Home Affairs officials on Tuesday said they have given the details regarding Ansari’s passport and identity cards to the Foreign Secretary and the same can be provided to his Pakistani counterpart.

ENS

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