NEW DELHI: Pakistani premier’s special envoy Shaharyar M. Khan met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Friday and conveyed Islamabad’s “sincere desire” to move forward on improving relations with India.

He also delivered a letter from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif containing warm expressions of goodwill and good wishes for Dr Singh, the government and people of India, a statement released by the Pakistan High Commission here said.

The letter also conveyed Pakistan’s “sincere desire to move forward on improving relations with India. These sentiments were warmly reciprocated by (Mr) Singh,” the statement said.

The special envoy also met National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai. He will also call on External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

Mr Khan’s meeting with Dr Singh comes after Mr Khurshid’s talks with Mr Sharif’s Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in the Brunei capital Bandar Seri Begawan on Thursday. The two sides had decided to resume official-level peace talks within the next two-three months.

Both sides, according to local reports, are also working on arranging a meeting between the prime ministers. It is important, according to Mr Aziz, to ensure that talks get the necessary political momentum.

Trade has been the main driver of the India-Pakistan peace process, which had stalled after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

The renewed dialogue started in February 2011 and has yielded a liberalised visa policy for increased people-to-people contact and fostering trade, besides a considerably shorter negative list of products embargoed for trade between the neighbours.

Soon after Mr Sharif’s election as prime minister on May 12, Dr Singh had sent India’s special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Satinder K. Lambah, to Lahore to meet the winner.

Staff Reporter in Islamabad adds: The government has appointed Ambassador Khan as its pointman for Track II diplomacy with India.

“The prime minister has given Ambassador Shaharyar Khan the responsibility of conducting Track II diplomacy in order to improve our ties with India,” Foreign Office Spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said at a media briefing.

“Track II diplomacy has been a part of the overall peace process between Pakistan and India, and complements the bilateral efforts for peace,” Mr Chaudhry said.

The PML-N government’s strategy is to deal with softer issues like trade and people-to-people contact in the official dialogue, leaving the more difficult issues like Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek to backchannel discussions between ambassadors Khan and Lambah.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (8)

July 6, 2013 6:25 am

We have exchanged enough pleasantries ..... Now its time for actions on both sides ..... Do more.

July 6, 2013 8:04 am

So far, Nawaz has done one thing right - relations with India. But it should take the necessary time to do so. India is much more mature, and can take advantage of Pakistan's sudden eagerness.

Khalid Butt
July 6, 2013 8:44 am

A very welcome thing. I hope the relations should go upto the level of what we see inEurope.

July 6, 2013 10:08 am

We have exchanged enough pleasantries ..... Now its time for actions on both sides ..... Do more.

July 6, 2013 10:13 am

India moving ahead in economic front,need of the time is for pakistan is join indias hand,keep ego away and come together for people of both country,my friends don't depend on chaines they will just use u,u must stand on ur own foot,india had and have poor people but its progressing economically very fast,Indian government working very hard on this issue,that's y Indian govt pass food security bill so that every poor indian can get food in just 2ru.,every country want to invest money in india,having no load shading prob.,more than 600 million midell class people increase in past years,u can say so many bad things about india but u cant change present what india having,,,,economy growth

July 6, 2013 11:39 am

India and Pakistan are two extremely important neighbors. Cordial relations between the two countries, particularly on the economic front, could significantly benefit the peoples of both countries. It is known to all and sundry that there has been lots of highs and lows in the relationship between India and Pakistan. The initiative taken by the incumbent Pakistan government is truly positive and would go a long way in strengthening the current not so good relations with India. Efforts to improve the existing bilateral relations between the two countries would bear fruit only if both countries attempt to address this vital issue with the same degree of sincerely and enthusiasm. While doing so, they must also remember that success in the attainment of this objective would greatly depend on the ultimate resolution of the major long-pending bilateral issues between the two countries.

Rajab Ali
July 6, 2013 12:13 pm

Nawaz Sharif's hurry to improve relation with India would harm our interests. Good friendships are bilateral and not unilateral. Indian politicians are shrewd enough to deceive their opponent.

July 7, 2013 9:31 pm

My question -- when PM Manmohan Singh will visit his birth place?

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