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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 24/07/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Reign secretaries of Pakistan and India are expected to meet in the latter half of next month for discussing the future of the stalled peace process.The meeting of the foreign secretaries was agreed upon by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi when they met in New Delhi in May.

The two countries are however still without confirmed dates for the meeting that could lead to resumption of the peace process suspended since January last year — an indication of how difficult the process for normalisation is.

A senior Pakistani diplomat hinted that the two secretaries could meet in the second half of August.

Diplomats from both sides have been discussing the possible dates.

The Pakistani diplomat attributed the delay in finalisation of the date to “scheduling problems” and denied “other contentious issues” were holding up the meeting.

The sense from Delhi about the delay is slightly different.

The last time when Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said “meeting would take place in not very distant future” Indian External Affairs ministry reacted tepidly by saying the two top diplomats would talk before meeting.

The Indian comments were implied to be suggesting that an early meeting between the foreign secretaries was unlikely.

Pakistan attaches immense importance to the meeting of the foreign secretaries.

“The meeting is fundamental to the future engagement. It would set the trajectory” the diplomat said.

He however sounded optimistic about the prospects of the meeting.

“Both leaders (Sharif and Modi) are very clear about addressing the difficulties in the ties and that clarity trickles down” he observed.

Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan TCA Raghavan speaking at an Iftar-reception hosted by high commission meanwhile repeated allegations of violation of ceasefire along the Lin of Control by Pakistani side.

“There have been attempts for infiltration followed by unprovoked firing” Raghavan said adding that firing from “across the Working Boundary” had resulted in death of an Indian soldier in addition to other civilian casualties.

Pakistan had earlier attributed the latest Working Boundary incident to “intermittent and unprovoked firing from the Indian side.”

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