In a meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN Foreign Minister’s meet in Brunei, India's External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif's Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, both the countries expressed hope that the bilateral dialogue process between them would be resumed with holding of different meetings in next few months.
This is also the first high level dialogue between Pakistan and India since Nawaz Sharif assumed Prime Minister's office after May 11 elections and also also after killing of two Indian soldiers at the LoC by Pakistani troops.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser on National security and foreign affairs Sartaz Aziz has said that Pakistan wants progress on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) with India.
Reacting on Aziz's statement Indian defence expert Bharat Verma said that India is always ready to strengthen the CBMs, but it is Pakistan that needs to understand that until and unless it stops supporting and sponsoring terror and other anti-India activities, such talks from Pakistan would be meaningless.
“There cannot be any progress between India and Pakistan unless export of terrorism and export of fake currency from Pakistan stops. So it is Pakistan which has to build confidence in us. This is not other way round. We (India) are not doing anything to pull apart Pakistan. Pakistan is doing lot of exercise to destabilize India and one of them is increase in terrorism.Infiltration in Kashmir has also increased. There are many issues which Pakistan needs to address to build our (India's) confidence in them,” Bharat Verma told this citizen journalist.
Notably India has always remained positive towards engaging in dialogue with Pakistan to resolve the issues. However, due to Pakistan's support to terror activities in India, the later has to often stop the dialogue process.
After the meeting Indian foreign affairs minister Salman Khurshid said that India is looking for dates for meetings of the Joint Working Groups under the Joint Commission in July and August. He was also quoted as saying that Manmohan Singh has responded ‘warmly’ to an invitation to visit Pakistan.
During the meeting both the countries have agreed for different groups to meet in the next two to three months. People-to-people contact, visa relaxation regime has already been agreed. Trade meetings will also take place. Both the nations expressed hopes that the Indian and the Pakistani prime ministers can meet hopefully on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September, if not earlier.