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Good Neighbours?

The foreign secretaries of squabbling neighbours India and Pakistan have agreed to meet to discuss building a “climate of trust for future talks”, according to government sources. “The sources said India was being ‘realistic’ in going ahead with the meeting, as beyond a point, putting off talks was likely to yield diminishing returns. ‘However, this talk is not aimed at resolving outstanding issues. We are fully conscious of the complexities involved in the process and are therefore adopting a nuanced approach to the dialogue.’ The sources reiterated that terrorism directed at India remained ‘our core concern’”, indeed that the terror strike on Pune had put this concern in sharper focus. New Delhi was in fact clear that the talks did not signal the resumption of the composite dialogue put on hold following the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attack: ‘The Indian focus during the talks would be on terror. If Pakistan has other concerns, we are willing to address them. However, the future course of the dialogue would depend on how they respond to our concerns.’ The sources said there had been legitimate reasons, including a sharp domestic reaction, for suspending talks in the aftermath of the Mumbai attack.”
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