Pakistan Foreign Secretary Bashir arrives in Delhi for talks

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New Delhi, Feb.24 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir along with his delegation arrived here on Wednesday evening for the Foreign Secretary level talks to be held on Thursday (Feb.24).

Expressing his delight to be back again in India, Bashir said the purpose of his visit is to bridge differences between India and Pakistan.

After arriving in New Delhi, Bashir said: "It's good to be back. I am here to bridge the differences and hope for a positive outcome."

A private channel quoted Bashir as saying that "Pakistan has no fixed agenda. Just looking for a way forward for the talks."

Bashir also said that he would discuss any issue, including terror.

Bashir has come at the invitation of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who had proposed February 18 or February 25 as tentative dates for the talks, during her meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik. Pakistan agreed to February 25.

Earlier, speaking in Beijing, on Wednesday, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi termed the February 25 Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan as an 'exploratory' meeting and Islamabad wants a meaningful dialogue with New Delhi.

Interacting with media persons after addressing the Institute of International Studies here, Qureshi said all issues confronting both countries must come up for discussions during the upcoming talks.

"After 14 months, they have re-engaged with us and have invited us for a dialogue. Pakistan wants a dialogue with India, but we want a meaningful dialogue. We want that all issues of concern to both sides should be brought on the table so that the dialogue is serious and meaningful," The News quoted Qureshi, as saying.

Qureshi also claimed that India, through a joint communiqui, had agreed that acts of terrorism would not impede the process of dialogue between both nations.

Qureshi said the ball is now India's court, and the outcome the talks would largely depend on its approach.

"We have to see what comes out of the meeting on February 25.Pakistan is showing a constructive approach and if India also exhibits the same spirit obviously there will be progress," the Pak Foreign Minister stated. (ANI)

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