Peace on LoC precondition for talks with Pakistan: India

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 06, 2013 14:10 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) India stressed Wednesday that a "precondition" for moving forward in its bilateral engagement with Pakistan was peace and tranquillity on the border.

The statement by external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin comes ahead of a bilateral meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid next week on the sidelines of the Nov 11-12 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of foreign ministers in Gurgaon.

Akbaruddin said the issues to be discussed at the meeting would "flow from the meeting" held between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York Sep 29.

"There was one outcome of the meeting -- the precondition for moving ahead -- peace and tranquillity on the Line of Control (LoC). They (Khurshid and Aziz) will assess where they are. That will be the basis of further discussion," the spokesperson said

He also confirmed that Aziz had sought a meeting with the prime minister.

India is likely to raise its concerns over the spike in infiltrations into Indian territory from Pakistan and the rise in ceasefire violations.

Khurshid would also be meeting his Bangladesh counterpart Dipu Moni.

The spokesperson said the Land Boundary Agreement, which is yet to be passed by the Indian parliament, would feature in the discussions.

Khurshid would hold bilateral meetings with counterparts from several other countries, including Romania, Lithuania, Poland, Malta, Cyprus and Norway, besides also Russia and China.

The ASEM currently has 51 partners, 49 countries and two international organisations - the European Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat.

The 11th ASEM Foreign Ministers Meeting to be held in Gurgaon next week will have the theme, "ASEM: Bridge to Partnership for Growth and Development".

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