March 16: Reports said on Wednesday that the foreign ministers of India andPakistan will meet on the sidelines of a SAARC meeting here on Thursday.
As a report today that the bilateral meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Sartaj Aziz, advisor to Pakistan PM on foreign affairs, will take place tomorrow, in Nepal’s Pokhara which is hosting a series of SAARC meetings from March 14-17.
The meetings in Pokhara will prepare the ground for the Summit meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) to be held in Pakistan later this year.
Foreign Secretaries of the two countries are attending a meeting of the Standing Committee of SAARC today but they are not expected to hold a bilateral on the sidelines.
During the meeting tomorrow, Aziz will extend to Swaraj Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s formal invitation to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to attend the 19th SAARC Summit, to be hosted in Islamabad.
During the meeting tomorrow, Swaraj and Aziz are expected to discuss the much-delayed talks between the foreign secretaries, who were to meet in Islamabad in January. That meeting was postponed in the wake of the Pathankot airbase terror attack.
Progress in Pathankot attack probe will also likely figure in tomorrow’s parleys.
The key foreign secretary-level talks are meant to draw up a roadmap for a series of meetings between the two countries on a range of issues, including Kashmir, peace and security, Siachen, Sir Creek, water, and trade and commerce.
The efforts to resume the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue hit a deadlock after the terror attack on Pathankot airbase that India has said was carried out by militants from Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group.
Aziz and Swaraj are also likely to explore the possibility of a meeting between prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi in Washington later this month.
The two PMs will travel to the United States to attend a nuclear security summit to be hosted by US President Barack Obama.