Address our concerns, Rao tells Islamabad

Address our concerns, Rao tells Islamabad

This statement by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao comes barely a week ahead of the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers’ meeting in New York. The dialogue between the neighbours had been stalled after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Rao, speaking to mediapersons here, also stressed that while New Delhi wants better ties with Pakistan, “we cannot shut our eyes to cross-border terror and ceasefire violations from across the border”. Pakistan should address in “full seriousness” concerns on terrorism directed from its soil and take satisfactory steps to end the menace. “Our expectations are that Pakistan should focus sincerely and meaningfully to address our concerns on terrorism directed against us from there”. She added: “This has been conveyed by the government and it is our expectation that Pakistan will address these concerns in full seriousness so that the outcome is to our satisfaction”.

External Affair Minister S M Krishna will meet his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, most likely on September 26. This will be preceded by a meeting between Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir where the two sides will review Islamabad’s action against the perpetrators of the 26/11 attack. Krishna will head for New York Sunday to represent India at the UN General Assembly.

This will be the first high-level formal meeting between India and Pakistan since the prime ministers of the two countries met at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on July 16 and agreed to the meeting between their foreign ministers in New York during the 64th UN General Assembly.

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