Not much expectation from initial phase of Pak-India talks: Sartaj Aziz

ISLAMABAD: Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said it would not be fair to expect instant resolution of all issues during the initial phase of comprehensive dialogue between the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India, Radio Pakistan reported on Saturday.

In an earlier announcement, Aziz had said that the meeting between the foreign secretaries of the two countries has been scheduled for the mid of next month.

Aziz said that, “Initially the focus (of talks) would be on the reduction of tension and maintenance of calm on the Line of Control to provide relief to the people living across the LoC.”

He said as the dialogue proceeds, all issues would be discussed.

The comprehensive dialogue between Pakistan and India will eventually focus all outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir, he maintained.

The foreign affairs adviser said “in the recent meeting between the prime ministers of the two countries in Lahore it was decided that foreign secretaries would meet in the midst of next month to decide details of dialogue on all issues”.

Promotion of good neighbourly relations with all neighbours is the policy of the incumbent government, said Aziz, adding “as this is a pre-requisite to benefit from projects aimed at increasing regional connectivity and resolution of energy crisis”.

He said major political parties, including the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, had the consensus on peace and enhanced people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

In a breakthrough, Pakistan and India earlier this month agreed to reinitiate a comprehensive dialogue process during Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad for the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference.

“Instead of composite dialogues, now comprehensive dialogues will be held in which all outstanding issues will be discussed,” Sushma Swaraj said.

Both Swaraj and Aziz condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate in order to eliminate the menace.

On Friday, Narendra Modi arrived in Lahore on a surprise visit and had a brief meeting Nawaz Sharif at his Raiwind residence. This was the first time an Indian premier visited Pakistan in more than a decade.

Both leaders flew to Raiwind from Lahore airport in a chopper, where Modi briefly attended PM Nawaz’s grand daughter’s wedding ceremony and then held a brief meeting with his Pakistani counterpart.

Foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry while briefing media about Indian PM’s visit said that Modi telephoned PM Nawaz and expressed his desire to visit Pakistan on his way back from Kabul.

“It was a goodwill visit and the two sides decided to understand each other’s reservations and restart the comprehensive dialogue in a positive manner,” said Chaudhry.

The foreign secretary revealed that during the brief meeting, the two PMs decided that as a part of the comprehensive dialogue, the foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet in mid-January.

Answering a question, Chauhdry said that the PM’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz and National security adviser Nasir Janjua too would have attended the meeting between the two premiers if the Indian PM had informed about his visit earlier.


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