New Delhi: India is closely monitoring unfolding political developments in its western neighbour, two people familiar with the situation said Tuesday, as Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani from office, throwing the country into turmoil.
“Yes, we are watching developments,” said one of the people cited above. “What impact it will have on (the ongoing) peace talks (between India and Pakistan), I cannot say,” the person said, referring to the dialogue process currently under way between the South Asian neighbours. Both the people requested anonymity.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
The dialogue was resumed last year after being stalled by the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed. India had blamed Pakistan-based terrorists for the attack. The countries share mostly hostile relations, having fought four wars since their independence from British rule in 1947.
On Tuesday, both countries concluded discussions on demarcating their maritime boundary in the Sir Creek area, between Gujarat and Pakistan’s Sindh province, without any breakthrough.
Besides Sir Creek, the demilitarization of the Siachen glacier was the other dispute that India and Pakistan had decided to quickly resolve after discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari during the latter’s visit to India in April. Resolution of the two disputes were being given high priority as it was seen as enabling Singh to make a visit to Pakistan later this year.
According to the second person cited above, foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are expected to meet in New Delhi in the first week of July. This will be followed by a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan later in July.
Earlier this month, Pakistan’s foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani had told reporters during a visit to China that the foreign secretaries would meet in New Delhi on 29 June. “We are still in the process of working out the dates (for both meetings) through diplomatic channels,” the second person said.