Sar­taj Aziz to visit In­dia for talks on Au­gust 23

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Ad­viser to the Prime Min­is­ter on For­eign Af­fairs and Na­tional Se­cu­rity Sar­taj Aziz will visit New Delhi for se­cu­rity talks on Au­gust 23, he said on Thurs­day, in the ri­vals' first at­tempt in months to restart talks.

"I can con­firm that I will be go­ing to In­dia on Au­gust 23," Sar­taj Aziz told a news con­fer­ence. Aziz said his visit was "not a break­through in terms of com­pos­ite di­a­logue and all the is­sues but at least it is an ice break­ing on some is­sues.. and let's hope it will lead to fur­ther more com­pre­hen­sive di­a­logue on the other is­sues be­tween the two coun­tries".

Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif and his In­dian coun­ter­part Naren­dra Modi, in their meet­ing at Ufa (Rus­sia) in July, had agreed that a meet­ing of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vis­ers (NSAs) would be con­vened to "dis­cuss all is­sues con­nected to ter­ror­ism".

Since the meet­ing, howev- er, a se­ries of mil­i­tant at­tacks and bor­der skir­mishes have poi­soned the at­mos­phere.

Ear­lier dur­ing the month New Delhi had pro­posed a meet­ing of NSAs on Aug 23 for dis­cussing the ter­ror­ist threat faced by In­dia and Pak­istan. The in­vi­ta­tion for di­a­logue on ter­ror­ism came in the shadow of the July 27 mil­i­tant at­tack in Gur­daspur, which In­dian lead­ers have blamed on Pak­istan.

In­dia is plan­ning to raise the is­sue of trial of al­leged Mum­bai plot­ters by a Pak­istani court and the bail for Zak­iur Rehman Lakhvi, the prin­ci­pal ac­cused in the case. Pak­istan would, mean­while, want to flag its con­cerns about In­dian in­volve­ment in ter­ror­ism in Karachi, Balochis­tan and tribal ar­eas. In­dia has long been ac­cused of fuelling in­sur­gency in Balochis­tan and un­rest in Karachi. In­dian in­tel­li­gence agency RAW is also re­port­edly pa­tro­n­is­ing mil­i­tant groups that have been fight­ing Pak­istan Army in tribal ar­eas.

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