Modi to visit Pakistan for SAARC summit next year
India, Pak agree to hold bilateral dialogue on terrorism and Kashmir
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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