No touchy issues figure in Brown-Musharraf talks

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London, Jan 24: UK's support to India's bid for a permanent UNSC seat won't figure in talks between Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, when the two leaders meet at 10 Downing Street on Monday, said Pakistan High Commissioner in London Dr Maleeha Lodhi.

According to her, the two leaders will also not discuss the issue of Islamabad's suspension from the Commonwealth. "Pakistan in principle does not discuss third party relations with friends," the Dawn quoted said Maleeha as saying while replying to a question if Musharraf would raise the issue of London's support to India's candidature for a UN Security Council seat.

Musharraf is slated to arrive in London on Sunday for a two-day official visit. Replying with a categorical "No" when asked if Pakistan's suspension from Commonwealth would figure in the talks, she said the agenda of talks would include the ongoing "democratic process in Pakistan", Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, Pakistan-India peace process and bilateral relations.

However, reliable sources here said that Brown would certainly bring up the subject of Benazir Bhutto's assassination and the progress of the investigation into how she was killed and who was behind it.

Whitehall would be interested in knowing the details of Benazir's assassination because Britain was actively involved in Benazir-Musharraf negotiations from the very beginning and had also supported the idea of power-sharing between the two, said the paper.

Besides, Brown is likely to discuss with Musharraf the steps taken so far by Islamabad to ensure free, fair and transparent elections, slated on February 18. He is also expected to raise questions about political prisoners and the continued incarceration of the judges who were dismissed by President Musharraf under emergency powers.


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