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Indo-Pak talks to continue

Dialogue despite differences:

INDIA: India and Pakistan agreed to keep going the process of foreign secretary-level dialogue launched here Thursday in order to rebuild confidence between the two countries, said Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

This was agreed upon by the two sides despite apparent wide differences over a range of issues. She said the talks were constructive but there was an overriding need to restore trust between the two nations.

Thursday’s meeting was the first formal talks between the two nuclear-armed old rivals since the attack on the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008 left 174 people dead including nine gunmen.

Rao, who arrived for a press briefing directly from the Hyderabad House after talks were extended, revealed that India delivered to Pakistan three dossiers new leads on Mumbai attacks, new threats from Illyas Kashmiri and other terror groups, and a list of Indian fugitives believed to be in Pakistan.

“We went into the talks with an open mind, but were also fully conscious of the large trust deficit that exists between the two countries,” she said. “Our aims were modest but we spelt out our concerns on terrorism emanating from Pakistan or the territories under its control.”

Rao said that India has stressed the importance of expeditious action on the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks especially in view of the emergence of new leads from the United States.

Asked whether India expressed concern over the slow progress of probe into the Mumbai attacks on the Pakistani side, she said: “we told them that we are not satisfied with the investigations, while they responded by saying that they were in the process of prosecuting the culprits.”

Referring to Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks who constantly incite terror attacks against India, Rao said she remained discontented with Pakistan’s response that their anti-terror laws did not permit them to take action against individuals who make speeches.

“Obviously, we are not satisfied with this position,” she said.

She noted that Pakistan did bring up the issue of alleged Indian involvement in unrest in Baluchistan, but could not produce any evidence. NEW DELHI, Friday, Xinhua

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