Pak wants 'wide-ranging' talks with India

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Islamabad, Feb.12 (ANI): Reiterating its demand for resumption of Composite Dialogue with India, Pakistan has said that any deliberations between two countries should be wide ranging and cover all outstanding issues, including Kashmir.

Interacting with media persons during a press briefing here, Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Abdul Basit said Islamabad has not yet 'formally' responded to New Delhi's offer for talks, but Pakistan is looking forward to the foreign secretary level meeting.

"The whole purpose of any engagement between our two countries should be to resolve all disputes," Basit said.

He said Pakistan would use the proposed talks to raise Indian agencies' involvement in nefarious activities inside the country.

"This is one of our concerns, and we will raise it with India at the proposed meeting, whenever it takes place," Basit said in reply to a question.

The spokesman said that the talks would be held without any 'preconditions' set by either side, and added that Pakistan hoped to resolve all issues that has been lingering between the two South Asian nuclear powered nations.

Commenting on the long pending issues pertaining to water distribution, Basit said Pakistan's Indus water commissioner would visit India in March for talks.

"We would like to take this on its face value," Basit said.

While Pakistan has stressed that it wants discussions which would cover all issues, India, however, is firm on its stance that it is only interested in discussing terror and other "relevant" issues.

"We will go to Delhi with an open mind and steer the discussions towards a positive direction. An open-ended dialogue will take us nowhere," said Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir.

Bashir said Pakistan is ready to discuss all issues, including terrorism emanating from the neighbouring soil, which has been a major concern for India.

New Delhi had earlier 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 pressing Pakistan to prosecute JuD chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, who is considered the mastermind of the ghastly Mumbai terror attacks.

The proposed 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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