Pranab Mukherjee meets Musharraf

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Islamabad, May 21: Visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met President Pervez Musharraf here today.

Later, Mukherjee will attend Indo-Pakistan Foreign Ministers meeting where he will hold discussions with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Qureshi and Mukherjee are expected to act on the recommendations made by their respective Foreign Secretaries. Mukherjee is expected to brief Pakistan's new leaders about New Delhi's expectations on issues such terror, economic cooperation and cross-border infiltration, besides other topics of mutual interest to the two countries.

A press conference is scheduled to be held at 4:00 p.m. and will be followed by a meeting between Mukherjee and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Besides, Mukherjee is expected to meet former Prime Minister and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Asfayandar Wali Khan the Chief of the Awani National Party (ANP).

Mukherjee's visit to Pakistan is the first high-level contact between the two countries since the newly formed democratic government assumed office in Islamabad after securing victory in the February 18 general elections.

Although Mukherjee has said that his trip to Pakistan is a goodwill visit and he is not going with any fixed agenda or expectation, the All India Radio has said that cross border terrorism, peace and security and growing incidents of infiltration will be high on the agenda.

No major breakthroughs are expected on their main dispute over Kashmir, butakistani analysts hope the talks might set the stage for a visit by Indianrime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The talks are the first high-level contact between the two sides since February 2007, when Mukherjee travelled to Pakistan.


ANI

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