NEW DELHI, Sept 29: Indian Foreign Minister Kunwar Natwar Singh would pay a two-day visit to Karachi on October 4 and 5 to inspect the Indian consulate building there, which was mandated by the leaders of both sides to be functional before the year end, official sources said on Thursday.
They said Mr Singh would arrive in Islamabad on Sunday to revive the stalled India-Pakistan Joint Commission after 16 years. He would also review the progress of the composite peace process with his Pakistan counterpart Khurshid Kasuri.
A meeting of the commission, which last met in 1989, will take place in Islamabad on October 3. The two countries had decided during President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s visit to India in April this year to revive the commission, established in 1983.
The commission has four sub-commissions on subjects that are being dealt with under the composite dialogue process and the foreign ministers may decide about restructuring the commission, according to officials.
The body, conceived during Mr Natwar Singh’s 1980-82 tenure as ambassador in Islamabad, is expected to help remove hurdles and irritants in the way of normalization of Pakistan-India ties and resolution of Kashmir and other issues on the agenda of the composite dialogue.
Apart from Mr Singh, five other ministries — home, telecom, commerce, information and broadcasting and tourism — are planning to send their senior officials as part of the delegation.
The Natwar-Kasuri meeting follows this month’s meeting between Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and President Musharraf in New York.