Nawaz, Modi meetings to have positive impact on Pak-India talks: Aziz
ISLAMABAD: Terming Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan a good development in terms of Pakistan-India relations, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Tuesday said the meetings will positively impact formal talks between the two countries.
Speaking during a Senate session today, he said PM Modi’s short trip to Lahore on Dec 25 was not a state visit but an informal one which was aimed at further developing the existing relationship between the two countries.
Aziz however said it was a good development as far as initiation of the dialogue process between the two countries was concerned but cautioned against unrealistic expectations. There would be progress on some issues soon while it would take time for progress on others, he added.
The senior diplomat said as per decision of the two prime ministers, foreign secretaries of the two countries would meet on January 14 or 15, in which he added a map for the agreed 10 identified points for the next six months would be drawn up.
Sartaj Aziz said the meeting of foreign secretaries was also confirmed in Modi-Nawaz meeting. The warmth of relations created by the Lahore meeting, he added, would hopefully have an impact on the formal dialogue.
Aziz said except reaction from some quarters in India the visit of Prime Minister Modi had been welcomed by majority of the people in the two countries as well as the international community.
The Advisor dispelled the impression that the entourage of the Indian premier visited Lahore without any visa.
An 11 member delegation which accompanied Prime Minister Modi to Raiwind, he clarified, was issued temporary visas and all immigration procedures were followed. Remaining 100 members of the entourage remained at the airport, he added.
Responding to a point raised by Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan, the Advisor said no secret meeting was held between the two prime ministers in Kathmandu. He said both the prime ministers had five meetings.
Aziz went on to say that after the Paris meeting, security advisors and foreign secretaries of the two countries also met in Kathmandu on December 6, in which peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir, counterterrorism, harmony on the Line of Control and other issues were discussed.
Sartaj Aziz said that Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, during Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad, held a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif besides holding detailed discussion at the Foreign Ministry in which it was decided to resume the comprehensive dialogue process.
It was also decided in that meeting that the foreign secretaries would deliberate upon the 10-point agenda.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif informed the House that after taking input from his ministry he would brief the senators on the recent visist of Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif to Kabul.
Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani asked the defence minister to brief the House on the issue by Thursday.
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