Pak accepts India's proposal for foreign secretary level talks on February 25

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Islamabad, Feb.12 (ANI): Pakistan on Friday accepted India's proposal to hold foreign secretary-level talks on February 25 in New Delhi.

A statement from Pakistan Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that Islamabad would take up all core issues with New Delhi and emphasized on the need for early start to the now-stalled composite dialogue process at the talks.

"It was decided that the Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries would be held on February 25 in New Delhi," the statement said.

The announcement followed a meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the former's residence in Islamabad on Friday.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and Jamiat-e-Ulema Islami chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also attended the meeting.

According to reports, Gilani has specifically instructed his Foreign Secretary to ensure that the upcoming talks with his Indian counterpart are "result-oriented and meaningful".

Earlier, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had proposed February 18 or February 25 as tentative dates for the talks, during her meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik last week.

New Delhi had made it clear that resumption of talks at any level was not possible unless Islamabad takes substantial action against Lashkar-i-Taiba (LeT) and its front face Jamaat-ud-Daawa (JuD).

India has been pressing Pakistan to prosecute JuD chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, who is considered the mastermind of the ghastly Mumbai terror attacks.

The foreign secretary level talks will see India and Pakistan resume deliberations after a hiatus of 14 months after 26/11.

However, question still remains that if the talks would lead to more substantive negotiations.

In 2004, India and Pakistan resumed dialogue over Kashmir as well as a broad range of other issues, including economic cooperation and water disputes. The process did not provide any major breakthrough, but it helped develop a better understanding between two countries. (ANI)

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