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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2965

New Year to begin on positive note for India, Pakistan

[b]New Year to begin on positive note for India, Pakistan[/b]

By M Rama Rao in New Delhi

[b]New Delhi, 15 December, ( [/b]India and Pakistan will begin 2006 on a positive note going by the present indications. The two countries will open consulates in each others' commercial capitals – Mumbai by Pakistan and Karachi by India. New Delhi has already named a senior Foreign Service officer of the rank of joint secretary, Navdeep Suri as its Consul General for Karachi, Pakistan is sending a senior diplomat Jauhar Salim to head its consulate to be located at the busy Nariman Point, not far away from the historic Gateway of India.

However, Pakistan has chosen a prestigious building for its new consulate at Nariman Point near the famous Taj Hotel in an elite business area after haggling for control over the house Mohammad Ali Jinnah had built before partition of India in 1947.

The two countries are also gearing up for another round of talks at the foreign secretary level talks. Though the dates have not yet been decided, this dialogue is slated for mid January here in Delhi, according to official sources here, who said further momentum in bilateral relations depends on a full-time minister taking charge at the South Block.

The cabinet minister's post has fallen vacant after Mr Natwar Singh was shifted out in the wake of Volcker report controversy and subsequently made to resign. The slot may remain vacant by present indications; Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is looking after foreign office; he may like to do so till the visit of President George Bush in February to ensure what here is termed as close coordination between PMO and Foreign Office.

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