India hopes to renew composite dialogue with Pakistan's new govt

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Washington, Mar 26 (UNI) India is hoping to renew as soon as possible the four-year-old 'composite dialogue' with Pakistan's new government headed by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

''I myself have expressed my desire to visit Pakistan as soon as the new government is in place and I am waiting for that,'' visiting External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told mediapersons here yesterday.

I hope that the new government will pick up the thread from where it was left by President Pervez Musharraf and we will continue this exercise, he added.

He was addressing a press conference at the end of his two-day visit to the United States during which he called on President Bush and met Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

Mr Mukherjee exchanged his views with the US leaders on a variety of issues, including the regional security, during which Pakistan is understood to have figured rather prominently.

In February 2004, the then Indian Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and President Musharraf had agreed to undertake the composite dialogue to carry the process of normalisation forward.

The two leaders had agreed that constructive dialogue will promote progress towards the common objective of peace, security and economic development for our peoples and for future generations.

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