Resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue "very pragmatic": Rao

New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) India today said the decision forresumption of Indo-Pak dialogue after two years was "verypragmatic", noting that keeping this process in "abeyance" forfar too long has not given returns for either of the twocountries.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said that India andPakistan must engage in a dialogue which is "serious,sustained and comprehensive."

"We have held it both sides in abeyance for far too longand I don''t think it has created returns for either of us. Ithink this is a very pragmatic decision, a very well thoughtout decision," Rao told NDTV shortly after a statement wasissued simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad onthe decision to resume bilateral dialogue on "all issues".

Rao, who held talks with her Pakistani counterpartSalman Bashir in Thimphu on Sunday, said the reality is thatIndia and Pakistan cannot afford to "turn their backs" to eachother.

Replying to a question, Rao said India had always thepolitical will and an intention to see the dialogue withPakistan being taken "forward" because this is the "onlyoption."

Rao also said that terrorism and counter terrorism is ofcore concern for India.

Asked whether she was more optimistic on Indo-Pak talkstoday than six months back, Rao said she is "cautiouslyoptimistic." PTI GSN

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