India, Pak look to nudge peace process forward


New Delhi: India and Pakistan aim to nudge forward the peace process on Thursday, when Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will meet her counterpart Salman Bashir in Islamabad. But, given the fragile relationship, hopes are deliberately being kept low.

The Government said that the Foreign Secretary went to Islamabad with an open and constructive mind, and also with realistic expectations.

"The thrust of our approach will be to narrow the trust deficit and pave the way for normalisation of relations," said Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna.

Over Thursday and Friday the two foreign secretaries will discuss on various issues.

On the terrorism issue, India will ask for the 26/11 Mumbai attacks trial to be speeded up and seek clarifications of an ISI hand in the conspiracy.

On the other hand, Pakistan will raise the Kashmir dispute issue.

Both sides will discuss new confidence building measures (CBMs) for Kashmir and how to better implement existing cross LoC CBMs.

Existing nuclear CBMs will be reviewed and proposals for new nuclear CBMs will be discussed

Future sporting contacts, cultural exchanges and visits of Parliamentarians will also be discussed

How to liberalise the visa regime is also on the agenda.

Recent talks on terror, trade, water resource management, Sir Creek and Siachen will be reviewed.

An agenda will be set for the foreign ministers to meet next month.

In Washington, the Obama administration has said it's encouraged by the talks. It wants both countries to manage their relationship so that Pakistan is able to focus on helping America manage Afghanistan.

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