Pakistani, Indian PMs to meet in Bhutan: Foreign Office

21:28, April 28, 2010      

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Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh will meet on Thursday on the sidelines of the 16th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Pakistan's Foreign Office said Wednesday.

"It has been agreed through diplomatic channels that the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India will hold a bilateral meeting at Thimphu, Bhutan on April 29, 2010," the foreign office said in a statement.

Pakistan's Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit also confirmed to media in Thimphu that both the leaders will meet on Thursday afternoon.

"Although the agenda for the meeting has not been finalized, the two leaders will discuss bilateral issues and other related subjects of resumption of bilateral talks between the two countries as Pakistan always says it is ready for result-oriented talks with India," said Basit.

"The venue of the meeting has not yet been decided but diplomatic sources said the meeting will be held at Bhutan House," said the spokesman.

"There is a hope that the meeting between the Prime Ministers will help us to restart peace dialogues, and we all should expect for some positive outcome of that meeting," said Malik Azmat, a parliamentarian of the ruling Pakistan People's Party.

"If there will not be any big breakthrough even then it is a positive chance for interaction and listening to each other," Azmat told Xinhua.

India stopped the peace dialogues with Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, in which over 170 people were killed. India blamed on Pakistan-based militants for the attacks.

In 2009, Gilani and Singh met at the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh where they had one-on-one and delegation level talks and vowed to continue the dialogue process to resolve all big issues including the core issue of the Jammu and Kashmir.

But when the Indian prime minister returned to his country, he refused to continue any bilateral talks till Pakistan takes any solid step against the guilty of the Mumbai attacks. In February 2010, the two sides held a foreign secretary level talk, the first official talk in 15 months but failed to achieve any breakthrough.

"It is not any special or pre-planned or agenda meeting, so to hope for any big breakthrough will not be more than day dreaming," said Tanvir Qaisar, referring to Thursday's talk between the two prime ministers.

"Actually the Indian government has no opposition support to start dialogue with Pakistan that is why I do not see any thing unusual from this meeting," said Qaisar, an editor of a local news paper.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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