US, Pakistan undecided over discussing Indo-Pak ties during March 24 talks

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Islamabad, Mar.21 (ANI): While both US and Pakistan are preparing themselves up for the upcoming strategic dialogue, which is scheduled to be held on March 24 in Washington, none of the sides have made any mention that whether the issue regarding restarting the composite talks between New Delhi and Islamabad would be discussed or not.

According to a US official, the White House is keeping a close watch on developments in the region and is expecting Prime Ministers of both India and Pakistan meet each other on the sidelines of either the Nuclear Security Summit or the Saarc Summit, both of which would be held in April.

"Yes, Pakistan's relations with India and ensuring peaceful eastern borders is something that Washington is seized with," The News quoted the official, as saying.

The official pointed out that the Obama Administration was pleased to see the foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan resume after a long hiatus, but parried the question that whether the US was 'encouraging' both sides to re-start the dialogue.

While both Pakistan and the US appears to be evasive about raising the issue of Indo-Pak talks during the March 24 deliberations, President Obama's Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, has stressed that the talks would be 'very broad' and 'complex' in nature.

Holbrooke has also made it clear that Washington would give a patient hearing to what Pakistan says.

"We have a very broad and complex agenda in these talks, and this is the first strategic dialogue ever at this level, and the first of this Administration. And we're going to listen carefully to whatever the Pakistanis say," Holbrooke had said on Friday.

He had also clarified that any dialogue with Pakistan would not be held at India's expense.

"Let me put this very clearly: This strategic dialogue with Pakistan is not at the expense of any other country in the region," he said. (ANI)

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