Foreign Secretary level talks: What can India expect from Pakistan?

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India has already said that it expects nothing dramatic from the visit of Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar's visit to Pakistan. He is scheduled to visit Pakistan on Tuesday, March 3, as part of an initiative to reach out to the SAARC nations.

The visit to Pakistan comes seven months after India called off foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan. Both countries would hope that the talks are back on the table and India feels that Pakistan must extend more confident building measures in this regard.


Tension along the border must stop

The Pakistan establishment however seems to be optimistic about the visit by the foreign secretary. It is likely to propose the restoration of the 2003 ceasefire agreement between the two countries.

While India would welcome this, Pakistan too appears to be serious about this proposal. It feels that the tension that has escalated along the border has proving to be a headache for its own war on terror.

Pakistan has launched the Zarb-e-Arb, its war on terror in a big way following the Peshawar school attack and tensions along the border are not helping its cause.

India however feels that the tension at the border would stop if Pakistan initiates measures first. India has always maintained incessant firing from across the border which has kept its forces busy.

An end to a verbal war

India and Pakistan have very often engaged in a verbal war. It has been noticed that while on one hand the government appears to be easing out tensions, there are others who worsen it by engaging in a verbal war through the media.

The problem is more from the Pakistan side as there are many proxies who work contrary to the interests of the government. India too firmly believes that the governments should be allowed to work towards a better relationship with Pakistan.

During the visit by the foreign secretary Pakistan is likely to propose an understanding between the two nations to avoid making statements in public. While it may be difficult to control outbursts made by people, atleast curbing such statements against each other on an official level could be avoided.

This both countries feel would help pursue talks and statements by officials would not come in the way of the same. The prime emphasis would be to address problems directly with each other instead of issuing statements through the media.

Will 26/11 figure on the foreign secretary's list

The 26/11 trial in Pakistan has become a major concern for India. Pakistan has been extremely slow and selective in conducting the trial against those accused of carrying out the 26/11 attack.

India may bring up the issue yet again and Pakistan is likely to give India an assurance. However many in India say that there is no need to be too optimistic on this front at least for now.

Pakistan would quote its own set of problems and give India the assurance that the trial is on in a free and fair manner. However there would be nothing wrong if India points it out to Pakistan once again that it is unhappy with the progress of the trial.

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