Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar will lead the country’s delegation for Foreign Minister-level talks with India later this month to review progress in the bilateral peace process that was revived earlier this year.

"Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar will lead the Pakistan delegation to the talks with India," Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua told a weekly news briefing.

She was responding to a question on who would lead the Pakistani side at the talks to be held in New Delhi on July 26-27.

Khar, 34, is widely tipped to be elevated as a full-fledged Foreign Minister ahead of the crucial talks.

The Foreign Minister's slot has been vacant since the previous incumbent, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, was dropped during a cabinet reshuffle earlier this year.

In response to another question, Janjua said Pakistan had very clearly stated that it wants a "constructive, open and result-oriented dialogue with India on all issues".

This had been Pakistan's "point of view throughout the dialogue" since the process resumed in February after a gap of over two years, she said.

Pakistan's stance has been "reciprocated to a great degree from the Indian side", Janjua underlined.

The Foreign Minister-level talks will be preceded by meetings of a working group on cross-Line of Control confidence-building measures and the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries.

Both meetings will be held in New Delhi, Janjua said. When Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao met her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in Islamabad during June 23-24 talks, they agreed to convene a meeting of the working group on cross-LoC CBMs.

This meeting will recommend measures to strengthen and streamline existing trade and travel arrangements across the LoC and propose modalities for introducing additional CBMs, she said.

The meeting of the working group will be held in New Delhi on July 18 while dates for the next meeting of the Foreign Secretaries are being finalised.


(Agencies)