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India, Pak hold 'back channel' talks

Press Trust Of India
Nov 04, 2006 at 03:53pm IST

Islamabad: Pakistan's National Security Council Secretary Tariq Aziz has held talks with his Indian counterpart S K Lambah in a Gulf country, as part of the "back-channel" interaction, media reports in Islamabad said.

Aziz has since returned to Islamabad and reported the details of his talks to President General Pervez Musharraf, the daily The News reported.

The two interlocutors are understood to have discussed also the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Pakistan, but no agreement on the dates was reached.

MAJOR PLANS: Aziz and Lambah also discussed Manmohan Singh’s visit to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan has been making hectic preparations for his visit to New Delhi towards the end of next week for talks with his Indian counterpart Shiv Shankar Menon, amid hopes that his visit could put the composite dialogue process stalled in July after the Mumbai train blasts, back on the track.

Aziz also briefed Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri on his talks with Lambah.

The Minister is scheduled to visit New Delhi for a private sojourn soon after Riaz Khan's return from there for a wedding reception.

Meanwhile, India's High Commissioner-designate to Pakistan Satyabrata Pal has reached Islamabad where he is expected to present his credentials to President Musharraf next month.

He will also be going to New Delhi next week to attend the meeting between the foreign secretaries of the two countries.

In a brief chat at the residence of Sri Lankan High Commissioner General Weerasooriya in Islamabad on Friday evening, he said he had "no clue" to the schedule of Manmohan Singh's visit to Pakistan.

On the Indo-Pak Joint Mechanism against Terrorism, he said this would be discussed at the Foreign Secretary level talks. He also pleaded ignorance about any agreement on the Siachen issue.

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