India Doesn’t Rule Out Sushma Swaraj-Pak Counterpart Meet At UN: Sources

The India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place

New Delhi: 

India does not rule out Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this month, said sources in the government.

According to the sources, Ms Swaraj’s schedule was still being worked out and nothing has been finalised.

Pakistan also has said it is “engaged” with India to facilitate a bilateral meeting between Mr Qureshi and Ms Swaraj.

“We are engaged in the matter,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said when asked about reports of the bilateral meeting and whether both sides have formally approached each other.

Ms Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation to the UNGA while Mr Qureshi is expected to head the Pakistani side.

The India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place. The ties between the two countries had strained after Pakistan-based terror groups launched attacks in India in 2016.

Earlier this month, Pakistan sought US help to ease tensions with India, saying it wanted peace on the Eastern border in order to concentrate on the Western border with Afghanistan.

During the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Mr Qureshi had reportedly raised the issue. “We want ease on the Eastern border if we have to look towards the Western side,” he had told reporters while briefing them on the outcome of his talks with Mr Pompeo.

India has made it clear to Pakistan that terror and talks cannot go together.


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