India's ties with Pakistan set to improve: Army official

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Jammu, Apr 10: Lieutenant General R.K. Karwal, General Officer Commanding of the 16 Corps, has said India's ties with Pakistan are expected to improve after the formation of the new government in Islamabad.

"A new government has come in power and we hope that relations will improve. But, I'm also aware that the terrorist infrastructure still exists and that there are terrorists waiting across," said Lieutenant General R.K. Karwal. Karwal added that infiltration from across the border had come down.
"The aim of the security forces is to restore normalcy in the Jammu region. I'm very happy to say that we have made great progress in this. The intensity of violence has come down. The infiltration is at a much lower scale than what it has been. There have been no cases of human right violation for the last few years and no custodial deaths," Karwal said.

The Pakistan Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said that India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee would visit Pakistan next month for a review of the four-year-old peace process between the countries.

Mukherjee's May 21 visit will be the first by an Indian Minister since the formation of a new government in Islamabad led by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP). Foreign secretaries will meet on May 20 to prepare the ground for the talks between Mukherjee and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, a brief statement from the ministry said.

The peace process has been slowed down over the past year as Pakistan was passing through a phase of intense political turmoil.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month offered to meet Pakistan's new leaders "halfway" to put the past behind and build a new relationship based on cooperation and enduring peace.


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