aizaz chaudhry

Kashmir remains ‘core issue’ in meeting with Indian foreign secy: Aizaz Ch

NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said that Kashmir was the “core issue discussed in his meeting with India’s foreign secretary S Jaishankar on Tuesday.

Even as he underscored his country’s commitment to friendly ties with India, Chaudhry insisted that Kashmir required “a just solution in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he added.

“The meeting provided a useful opportunity to exchange views on recent developments in a bilateral context,” Chaudhry said.

The two foreign secretaries met in South Block on Tuesday on the sidelines of the ‘Heart of Asia-Istanbul process’ conference.

Meanwhile, Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has confirmed that ‘all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute’ were discussed during the meeting between Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary and his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar.

“The meeting provided a useful opportunity to exchange views on recent developments in bilateral context. In line with our Prime Minister’s vision of peaceful neighbourhood, the Foreign Secretary underscored Pakistan’s commitment to have friendly relations with all its  neighbours, including India,” Basit said in a statement.

Pakistan has continued to play an active role in the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, which was established in 2011 as a platform to discuss regional issues, including security, economic cooperation and connectivity among Afghanistan, its neighbours, and regional countries, with the aim of promoting lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan, the statement further said.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed the meeting between two Foreign Secretaries on it official Twitter handle.

“Another important bilateral (meeting) for Foreign Secretary as he meets with his Pakistan counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

Foreign Secretary Chaudhary was earlier received by Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit upon his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here Tuesday morning.

Before meeting Chaudhary, Jaishankar met Afghanistan’s Deputy Finance Minister Hekmat Karzai.

“Beginning with the bilateral, before Heart of Asia Meeting, FS meets Afghan Dy FM Hekmat Karzai for first meeting,” Swarup tweeted.

The two top diplomats are trying to put the bilateral dialogue process back on track that got stalled following the attack on India‘s Pathankot air base on January 2. The attack derailed the dialogue process which got a kick-start with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj‘s visit to Islamabad last October for a Heart of Asia ministerial meeting jointly hosted by Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Both the sides agreed on resumption of the bilateral dialogue, naming it Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

The Foreign Ministers of both nations met in November last year during the SAARC summit in Nepal. The talks between the two sides suffered a setback after the terror attack on Pathankot’s air base.

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