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India, Pak Foreign Secretaries meet in NY

PTI 27 Sep 2009, 1:55:40 IST

With India insisting on concrete steps against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan on Saturday said New Delhi should not hold the relationship back on a single issue as it has done what was "required" in the case. 

"The question is how do we move beyond this point. The relationship cannot be held or brought to a standstill because of a trial or one investigation," Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir told PTI after meeting his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao in New York. 

Bashir described the meeting, which came a day before the crucial talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries, as "useful" that helped in understanding the perspectives of the two parties "more clearly". 

"Pakistan has nothing to hide, infact, we have been very forthcoming on the quality of the work that has been done by our experts in terms of investigations and the arrests etcetra, and all that has been shared with India," he said. 

"It is now, I believe, time that India recognises, which they have, that Pakistan has done what was required," Bashir added. 

During the nearly two-hour-long discussions, the Indian side maintained that they want Pakistan to act speedily and in a transparent manner against those responsible for the heinous attack on 26/11 the Mumbai attacks. 

"The Indian side asked for concerted action and the need to complete the process of investigation of the Mumbai attacks because the conspiracy emanated in Pakistan," the Indian delegation told PTI. 

"There is a need to bring the investigation to a satisfactory conclusion," it added. 

Bashir said, "What our Indian friends need to realise is that much more than India, Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism so playing the victim does not help really." 

"As far as Pakistan is concerned, I think, I have personally found the meeting useful because we were able to touch upon a lot of issues, including issues which are of primary concern to India, that is the Mumbai investigations," he said. 

The Pakistani Foreign Secretary said, "We seek a meaningful engagement to address all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir. We look with a great deal of optimism and confidence for the future of our region." 

The meeting between Rao and Bashir marked the first high-level contact between the two countries since the Prime Ministers of the two countries met at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on July 16.

"The positive momentum of Sharm-el Sheikh has not been fully registered in India but there is hope that the understanding at the high levels will continue," Bashir said. 

"We are very sincerely committed to promoting good neighbourly friendly relations with all of our neighbours," he added. PTI