Modi Government does U-turn, ready to talk with Pakistan

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Indo-Pak Relations

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking that India and Pakistan resume dialogue that has been suspended since 2015. In the letter addressing the PM as “Modi Sahab”, Imran Khan also suggested a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries.

Pakistan “remains ready” to discuss terrorism, the new Pakistan prime minister wrote.

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Imran Khan – Pakistan Prime Minister

The Modi government on Thursday said that Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan’s newly elected government will meet in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week.

At the weekly briefing, External Affairs Ministry (MEA) official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed that the meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in New York has been scheduled,

“We have decided that the meeting will be held. The Permanent Missions of both India and Pakistan will together work out the details. Till then, what will be discussed in the meeting, we will have to wait till the meeting takes place.”

In a first such high-level interaction between the two countries after three years, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will talk on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session. The decision to have this meeting on the sideline of UNGA was taken at the CCS meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. The spokesman clarified that the meeting is not resumption of dialogue process in response to queries.

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Though the details of the talks are still in the process of being finalised, the matter on Kartarpur Saheb will be taken up when the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet later this month. According to the spokesperson Swaraj will also be attending a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers.

“The existing policy on the SAARC process will continue. I don’t think there is any change in it,” said the MEA spokesperson.

To a question about the brutality on a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan who was killed in firing from the Pakistani side, he said it was a barbaric incident and the BSF has written a strong communication to its counterparts in Pakistan, as reported by the Indian Express.

The last time both countries had a substantive dialogue was way back in December 2015, when Sushma Swaraj had gone to Pakistan to attend the Heart of Asia conference.

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Modi with Shariff

The last formal engagement between the Foreign Ministers took place in December 2015 in Islamabad, which was followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden visit to Lahore.

Earlier last month, Navjot Singh Siddhu

Earlier last month, The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Mr, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan, especially his hug with Pakistan army chief, was “shameful”. Mr. Sidhu is a minister in the Congress government in Punjab.

However, even former army officials loyal to the BJP were at a loss to explain why it was wrong for Mr. Sidhu to hug the Pakistan army chief when contingents from the two countries were trying to sort out the menace of terrorism jointly.

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