India-Pak working on Singh-Sharif meet
Decision Has To Be In The Interest Of The Nation: Khurshid
We Are In Touch With New Delhi: Islamabad
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Sep 5: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will meet his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz on September 13 in Kyrgyzstan during which they will try to schedule a meeting between their Prime Ministers in New York later this month.
While a request for a meeting between Khurshid and Pakistan Prime Minister's national security and foreign policy adviser Aziz was sought by the Pakistani side through their High Commission here, the India side has also given the consent for the same "verbally", sources said here.
They said the meeting between Khurshid and Aziz on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet in Bishkek was also aimed at reducing tension between the two countries in the backdrop of a series of ceasefire violations. Both India and Pakistan have blamed each other for the violations and summoned each other’s envoys.
While Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed his desire to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month, India has been maintaining that Islamabad needs to address its concerns on ceasefire violations in which five of its soldiers were killed.
Last week, Khurshid categorically said that a decision on possible talks between Singh and Sharif will be taken after assessing steps Pakistan takes to address their concerns on recent "unacceptable" incidents.
"We are keeping quiet on this and watching. I realize that the time is coming for the New York visit. So, obviously call will be taken by the Prime Minister at an appropriate stage. But we will not hasten it as we do not want to jump the gun. I think when some major significant thing goes wrong, many things still remain right but you cannot neglect the major thing that has gone wrong. Decision has to be in the interest of the nation," Khurshid had said.
IN TOUCH WITH INDIA: PAK
From Islamabad: Meanwhile, Pakistan today said it was in touch with India to fix a date for a possible meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.
"The date for the meeting is being worked out," Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry said.
Asked if any dates have been proposed, he told a weekly news briefing here that the two governments are in touch.
Chaudhry said should the chance for a meeting arise, it will be good opportunity for the two leaders to talk to each other and carry forward the dialogue.
Pressed further, he said howsoever "difficult" the issue might be, it should be "settled on the table".
The proposed meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan could discuss "issues of mutual interest, the ways of building mutual confidence and improving bilateral relations", Chaudhry said.
Recent tensions on the LoC have cast a shadow on the proposed meeting between the two premiers on the sidelines of the UN session.
Pakistan has pitched for the meeting on the diplomatic front and back channel negotiations are also on.
Former Pakistan Foreign Secretary Shahryar Khan and ex-diplomat S K Lambah, the point men for Pakistan-India back-channel diplomacy, met in Dubai last week to ease tensions and firm up a meeting between the premiers.
Asked about the outcome of these talks, Chaudhry said track-II dialogue issues are not spoken about in public.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Sep 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 5 Sep 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 00:00:00 IST
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