India-Pakistan talks were frank, candid yet constructive: Nirupama Rao

     Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Thursday described the Foreign Secretary level talks held between India and Pakistan as 'frank, very candid and yet constructive'. Speaking about the major take away from the talks with Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Ms. Rao told ANI: "Well, I don't really put it in the category of take aways or....I would say the outcomes , if we have to describe it as outcome, is the fact that we were able to talk to each other very frankly, very candidly and yet constructively." Ms. Rao said there could be openness and candour and frankness and yet there could also be a constructive character to the discussions "and that came through very clearly because we were able to discuss a lot of issues." She said there are no overnight solutions or magic formulae to deal with problems between India and Pakistan but only by both sides sitting down and discussing the issues. "A lot of issues that are also complications in the relationship as it has existed in the past and also recognizing that these complications exist that they will take time to resolve. That there are no overnight solutions or magic formulae to deal with these problems but that it is only India and Pakistan that can sit down and discuss these issues," Ms. Rao said. "There is no other way to talk about this. That is only through dialogue, through a sustained dialogue, that we can now begin not only to identify where the problems lie that what are the measures that can be put in place as initiating processes to begin to unlock some of the difficulties that have existed between our two sides," she added. Talking about the outcome of today's talks Ms. Rao observed that initially in the Indo-Pakistan dialogue, it will be a question of how both the neighbours manage differences and only then they can move on to the stage of resolving their differences. "...I came away with the hope with some degree of optimism. Although I am conscious of the real environment in which we live and the fact that this relationship has not been easy. It's not been easy for either country," she said. "So, fully conscious of the realities that surround this relationship, I think despite that this meeting today gave me cause to believe that if we are to begin to speak the same language; the language of peace, the language of building confidence, the language of how we increase trust and how we deal, how we manage our differences, I think, initially, it will be a question of how we manage differences and then we can move on to the stage of resolving our differences. I think that's what the take away from this meeting," Ms. Rao stated.

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