Islamabad: Voicing “a great sense of confidence, optimism and determination,” India and Pakistan on Thursday opened their two-day foreign secretary-level talks in the Pakistani capital and discussed the issue of peace and security, including confidence-building measures on Kashmir.
Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, who arrived this morning, and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir began the first round of their talks, which have been divided in three segments.
The first round of parleys is dealing with the issue of peace and security, including confidence-building measures on Kashmir. On Friday, two more rounds will take place on the issues of Jammu and Kashmir and promotion of friendly exchanges.
At the beginning of the talks, Bashir said they were approaching the parleys with a “great sense of confidence, optimism and determination.” Agreeing with him, Rao said this was an “apt” statement.
Bashir said this is an important point in the relationship and will also help the two sides to prepare the agenda for the ministerial meeting in the near future.
Rao said “we have a clear agenda in front of us for discussions” and noted that there have been good meetings in the past few months.
“We are approaching these talks with an open and constructive mind,” she said.
The two sides first held restricted talks, which were followed by the delegation-level meeting in which Rao was accompanied by joint secretary (Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran) Yash Sinha, joint secretary (Nuclear Disarmament) Venkatesh Verma, Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal and other senior officials.