AsiaIndiaPakistanSAARCSouthern Asia

Pakistan ready for talks, awaits India’s first step : Sharif

Kathmandu, Nov 25 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday said Pakistan is ready to hold talks with India but New Delhi will have to take the first step, the Geo News reported.

Speaking in the Nepal’s capital city, where he reached Tuesday to attend 18th Summit of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Nov 26-27, Sharif said India cancelled foreign secretary-level talks.

Earlier in the day, Sartaj Aziz, advisor to Prime Minister Sharif on national security and foreign affairs, on his arrival here denied that there were any plans for a Modi-Sharif bilateral. He, however, said that such a meeting could be held if Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj makes a request.

He said it was up to India to have “informal talks” with Pakistan.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday briefly met and shook hands with Aziz on the eve of the Saarc Summit but later clarified to media that “It was out of courtesy”.

Angered by the Pakistan High Commissioner’s refusal to call off talks with Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi, despite Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh calling up High Commissioner Abdul Basit to request it, India called off Aug 25, 2014, foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan.

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