NEW DELHI, June 26: The Indo-Pak foreign ministers’ meeting, which was scheduled in July, has been postponed since the dates were clashing with the presidential poll here.

According to official sources, Pakistan wanted to hold the meeting on July 19 which was not convenient to the Indian side in view of the presidential poll on that date.

The new dates were being worked out at the convenience of both sides and the meeting was likely to be held in August, the sources said.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin stressed that the rescheduling was not a sign of any new tensions between the neighbours.

He said that India’s presidential election on July 19 had forced the change of dates. “Obviously we need to reschedule,” Akbaruddin said, pointing out that Krishna was a member of the presidential electoral college which comprises MPs from both houses of parliament and state legislatures.

“But please don’t think that a scheduling issue is reflective of substantive problems. There are none,” he told reporters.

External Affairs Minister S.M, Krishna was to travel to Islamabad on July 17-18 to hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar after the foreign secretaries of the two countries met in Delhi.

The Indo-Pak dialogue, which was stalled following the Mumbai terror attack, resumed last year with both sides holding a series of meetings on the eight components under the 'Composite Dialogue' format, including terrorism, Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and trade.

The two countries have already had four segments including terrorism, trade and water in the past few months with two more — on Siachen and Sir Creek — slated for this month as part of the second round of talks.

By arrangement with the Times of India

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