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Pakistan to insist on composite dialogue in talks with S M Krishna

By Abdul Nisar

Islamabad, July 7 (ANI): With an idea of demanding the resumption of composite dialogue instead of one-on-one meetings, Pakistan is likely to raise all contentious issues during the foreign minister-level talks scheduled for July 15 here.

Background conversations with policy makers and experts on Indo-Pakistan relations suggest that Pakistan is preparing to demand a moving forward towards composite talks, which broke in 2008 following the Mumbai terror attack.

"Yes, we will try to take India towards resumption of the composite talks, and, will not be limited to demands regarding the action against the Mumbai attacks' culprits. We will surely be raising other issues as well," said a top official of the Pakistan Foreign Office.

"Kashmir, violation of human rights in Kashmir, Sir Creek, blocking of water, construction of disputed dams and infiltration in Balochistan will be discussed during these talks," said the official.

Asked how is it possible when India insists on a one point agenda of countering terrorism and action against the Mumbai attack' culprits, he said "It depends how flexible they are and what is their level of seriousness to resume the talks,".

"If we look at the foreign secretaries'-level interaction, there is ray of hope. We are ready to listen to them and we expect them to talk to us realistically," he said.

He said Pakistan was also assessing some proposals to make visas process easy for the citizen of both nations. spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Office also confirmed that Pakistan was preparing to insist on composite dialogue.

"It will be open ended discussion, Pakistan will raise all contentious issues. Pakistan will ask them to have composite dialogue ," said Nadeem Hotiana, Media Relations Officer at the Foreign Office. e, however said that issues like water will not be discussed in detail and will come under discussion briefly.

"Please keep it in mind that they are meeting for just one day and will discuss everything very briefly," he said.he experts, however, believe that initiative will remain with India during the talks.

"Pakistan has no initiative, but it is with the Indians. If they (Indians) are serious and flexible, the talks will go ahead, otherwise it will prove a mere exercise of another photo session," said Hassan Askari, a top expert of international relations.

He said the talks were being held under the pressure of USA, western countries and pro-peace lobbies of two countries.

"Even if they don't get agree on anything, they will express their resolve to continue the talks or will announce some visa relaxations to please all these concerned quarters," said Askari.

"Diversions are clear, India will focus on action against the alleged culprits of Mumbai attacks, while Pakistan will try to table all issues," he said adding that Indians' objection on construction of Bhasha dam in Gilgit Balistan and blocking a UN ship carrying arms for Pakistan will create a bad taste during the meeting.

Talat Masood, a former Pakistan Army general, said that Pakistan will strive for 'structured talks' during the foreign ministers' meeting.

"They don't want to focus on India's priorities only and one point agenda of Mumbai attacks, but they will also bring the issues like human rights violation in Kashmir, water issues, Sirkreek and Balochistan infiltration under the discussion,".

"But, I think their focus will be on free movement of people and it is vital for the continuity of peace process," he said.

Asked what is utility of these talks if both sides fail to come with a great breakthrough he said "these talks are useful because there is no other option but to talk,". By Mir Mohammad (ANI)

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