Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao will talk with her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in New Delhi on Thursday, which will be the first such engagements between the two countries since the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks. The Pakistani delegation is likely to have Kashmir on the list while India wants to focus on terror.
CNN-IBN spoke to former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri if it was the best time to talk?
CNN-IBN: Talks are the way forward. But you can't ignore the key questions - what is the Pakistan government down to shut down terror camps and rein in jehadis operating on its soil?
Khurshid Kasuri: Well I think, it is too late. Hopefully not too late, it's very late. Anytime is the right time. Had it been six months earlier I would have welcomed that even more. But when you say it is the right time, you assume that perhaps there would be a better time. Now the nature of relationship between Pakistan and India is such that either they are likely to improve or they are likely to slide downwards. I don't feel if efforts are not made at the level at which they are. So let's try and make them better rather letting the terrorists make them slide downwards.
CNN-IBN: But how does one build that trust when it is clear the Pakistani government is doing nothing to shut them down?
Khurshid Kasuri: You see if you point out statements of some extremists, there are a lot of statements of extremists in India also on the record. People won't allow them to play cricket, they said they will dug up the pitches etc etc.
CNN-IBN: Not just that. Jehadi groups roaming freely attacking India - Hafiz Saeed, Makki what sort of message is that to the Indian government?
Khurshid Kasuri: There's always a way of looking at things. You can either look at the glass half full or half empty. The fact that some of the top people of Lashkar-e-Toiba have been hauled up and are being tried in Lahore is not a mean achievement. So we should look at the positives. When we talk of Hafiz Saeed, I am not in the government at the moment, so I don't have the details. But according to what is appearing in the newspapers it is the Lahore High Court which threw out the case against him saying there is not enough evidence and as you know our court don't even spare our presidents and prime ministers or our governors, nobody is spared. Our intelligence is not spared by the Supreme Court. So nobody can doubt the independence of judiciary in Pakistan and I don't think I have to prove that point. The events of the last two years have proved that beyond a shadow of doubt so it is not the political government which took a stand on Hafiz Saeed. So I think what is really needed is much greater cooperation on Pakistan and India on intelligence sharing as well as joint investigation.