Indian foreign secretary arrives in Lahore, leaves for Islamabad
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran arrived in Lahore on Wednesday for a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Riaz Mohammad Khan in Islamabad today. The two secretaries will review the progress of the composite dialogue process.
Saran is heading a three-member delegation consisting of Joint Secreatry Syed Akbaruddin and Under Secretary Devyani for the three-day talks with Khan. Saran reached Lahore by a PIA flight PK270 from Delhi at 6:15pm and departed for Islamabad via PK388 at 8:20pm. The meeting is scheduled for 11am at the Foreign Office.
Saran did not talk to reporters at the airport, said Foreign Office spokesman Naeem Khan. “It is an important meeting and it comes at the end of the second round of talks” under the so-called “composite dialogue” between the two sides,” he said. Pakistan and India have been engaged for two years in an eight-point composite dialogue on peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir, Siachin, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage, terrorism, drug trafficking, economic and trade cooperation and promotion of friendly exchanges.
The foreign secretaries will prepare grounds for a meeting between President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York this month.
“The two secretaries are expected to review the composite dialogue process besides setting the tone for the meeting between the heads of state in New York,” said Indian High Commission spokesman and Press Attache Dr Ramesh Chander. The foreign secretaries will assess the progress on the composite dialogue and wrap up the second round of talks that had started in 2004. They will finalise the agenda for the meeting of Pakistan foreign minister and his Indian counterpart scheduled for October 4 in Islamabad.