India, Pakistan foreign secretaries discuss Mumbai terror attacks

     Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao met her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir here on Saturday to prepare the ground for the crucial talks between their foreign ministers where India is expected to demand speedy action against 26/11 perpetrators. The meeting between Nirupama Rao and Salman Bashir came on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, marking the first high-level contact between the two countries since the Prime Ministers of the two countries met at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on July 16. Both the foreign secretaries discussed the progress made by Pakistan in investigating the Mumbai attacks and prosecuting the perpetrators on the basis of six dossiers of evidence given by India. India has been pushing Pakistan to act fast and in a transparent manner to ensure that those behind the attacks are brought to justice. Dismayed by Pakistan's double speak and its refusal to accept the evidence provided by India in the sixth dossier, sources said: "'It is up to Pakistan to decide what relation they want with India." Both the secretaries will report about their discussions to their respective Foreign Ministers S M Krishna and Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who will meet in New York today. In the run-up to the meeting, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made it clear to Pakistan that it must stop state-sponsored terrorism to normalise relations with India. "India's message is that India seeks to normalise its relations with Pakistan. But the only obstacle is that Pakistan should give up its old attitude regarding the use of terror as an instrument of state policy," Dr. Singh told a post G-20 Summit press conference in Pittsburgh.

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