Modi to visit Pak­istan for SAARC sum­mit next year

In­dia, Pak agree to hold bi­lat­eral di­a­logue on ter­ror­ism and Kash­mir

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dents let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

IS­LAM­ABAD/NEW DELHI: In­dia and Pak­istan on Wed­nes­day agreed to hold com­pre­hen­sive talks on all out­stand­ing is­sues in­clud­ing ter­ror­ism and Kash­mir, a break­through that fol­lowed sev­eral high- level meet­ings be­tween the war­ring neigh­bours af­ter a pro­longed pe­riod of chill in ties.

Ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj made t he an­nounce­ment dur­ing a joint news con­fer­ence with Sar­taj Aziz, the Pak­istani Prime Min­is­ter’s for­eign pol­icy ad­viser, at the For­eign Of­fice in Is­lam­abad.

Ear­lier in the day, Swaraj said Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi will visit Pak­istan to at­tend the Saarc sum­mit, ex­pected to be held in Septem­ber 2016. “He will be com­ing,” she told the me­dia. This will be the first visit by an In­dian PM since 2004 when Atal Bihari Va­j­payee at­tended a Saarc sum­mit.

The com­pre­hen­sive di­a­logue will have the eight is­sues that were part of the ear­lier com­pos­ite di­a­logue and some ad­di­tional com­po­nents, said Swaraj, who held back-to-back meet­ings with Aziz and Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif.

“The big­gest thing is that the com­pos­ite di­a­logue or the re­sumed di­a­logue that was stopped — af­ter the suc­cess­ful talks be­tween our NSAs in Bangkok — we de­cided to­day that In­dia and Pak­istan will hold a com­pre­hen­sive di­a­logue,” she said.

The two for­eign sec­re­taries will de­cide the sched­ule and modal­i­ties for tak­ing the di­a­logue process for­ward. Swaraj re­fused to go into de­tails, say­ing she had to first make a state­ment on the de­vel­op­ment in In­dia’s Par­lia­ment on Thurs­day.



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