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Pakistan ready for talks at SAARC meet

By K J M Varma in Islamabad
July 07, 2003 21:54 IST
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Pakistan on Monday said it was ready to have foreign secretary level talks with India at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation standing committee meeting in Kathmandu on Wednesday.

Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar will be attending the special session of the committee in Kathmandu from July 9, foreign office spokesman Masood Khan said.

Asked if there will be a meeting between Khokhar and his Indian counterpart Kanwal Sibal, Khan said, "Our policy is that the doors are open.... we would welcome any dialogue. We do not want to sound desperate. But the opportunity is there."

On reports that New Delhi plans talks at the joint secretary level, he said, "The level is also important. We think this is not serious. In the past joint secretaries have talked about minor matters, secondary and subsidiary issues. But they had never talked about substance, the core issues. An engagement at that level would be redundant and could be counter productive."

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K J M Varma in Islamabad
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