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Indian foreign secretary S. Jaishankar to visit Pakistan

Indian foreign secretary S. Jaishankar to visit Pakistan
February 13
18:00 2015

Islamabad, Feb 13 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday told his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif that he will soon send his top diplomat to the country, the Prime Minister’s Office here said.

Modi spoke to Sharif on the phone Friday morning and informed him that Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar will soon visit Pakistan, which will be the first high-level contact in months.

“After greetings and pleasantries, Prime Minister Modi informed the prime inister (Sharif) that India’s new foreign secretary will soon visit all Saarc countries and would also like to visit Pakistan,” Xinhua quoted an official statement as saying.

Sharif traveled to India for the inauguration of Modi as prime minister in May last year that had raised hopes for revival of official talks. However, India has not yet resumed the dialogue with Pakistan.

“The prime minister, recalling his meeting with the prime minister of India on 27th May, 2014, welcomed the visit of Indian foreign secretary to Pakistan to discuss all issues of common interest,” the prime minister’s office said.

India had cancelled a meeting of the foreign secretaries of the two countries last August in protest against the meeting of the Pakistani high commissioner in New Delhi with Kashmiri separatist leaders.

Cross-border firing in recent weeks has increased tensions and both countries accuse each other of violating a 2003 ceasefire.

Foreign affairs experts say that the tense relationship between Pakistan and India has also badly affected the progress of Saarc.

Sharif also took up India’s relations with US President Barrack Obama when both spoke over phone Thursday, a spokesman for the prime minuster’s office said.

Sharif also opposed a permanent seat for India in UN Security Council.

“India does not qualify for the permanent UNSC seat,” the Pakistani prime minister said, adding that “India is violating UN resolutions on the Kashmir dispute.”

Obama had backed India’s quest for the Security Council’s seat during his visit to New Delhi last month.

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