Indian foreign secretary meets his Pakistani counterpart during two-day visit

ISLAMABAD: Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar met Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry in Islamabad Tuesday following his arrival in Pakistan for a two-day official visit.

C54f55e409532credible sources told NNP that Secretary Chaudhry greeted his Indian counterpart warmly at the Foreign Office.

Senior officials from both sides are assisting in the talks which are the first since New Delhi called them off last year.

During the meeting, both foreign secretaries realised that peaceful dialogue is the only way forward to resolve all outstanding issues, sources told NNP.

Sources added that Chaudhry drew the Indian secretary’s attention to the recent tensions at the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary.

Jaishankar said that he was happy to be visiting Pakistan and that he looks forward to having substantial and meaningful negotiations with Pakistani officials.

The primary agenda for the secretaries’ meeting was about promoting regional connectivity and trade even though both sides have an understanding about discussing bilateral matters.

Accompanied by a delegation of diplomats, Jaishankar was welcomed by officials from the Foreign Ministry as well as those from the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Jaishankar is in Pakistan as part of a tour of Saarc countries.

Secretary Jaishankar will also meet Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Tariq Fatimi. Later in the day, he is also expected to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Indian diplomatic sources told NNP that Secretary Shankar is on a goodwill visit to Saarc countries and that only Saarc related matters would be discussed by him during his visit.

Islamabad is the third stop in Jaishankar’s Saarc trip that began on Sunday. He earlier visited Bhutan and Bangladesh. He will travel to Kabul from here on Wednesday.

The visit is taking place almost seven months after Delhi cancelled the last planned secretaries’ dialogue in August on the pretext that Pakistani High Commissioner in Delhi Abdul Basit had consulted Kashmiri leaders.

Both sides are to hold what officials have been describing as “talks for talks” (dialogue on resuming suspended talks).