In a bid to improve ties between the neighbouring countries, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz today.
Sushma is on a two-day visit Islamabad for the ‘Heart of Asia’ 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan. Confirming the meetings, Sushma has said that talks are necessary to boost ties between the two countries. “Efforts will be made to take forward bilateral ties. It is necessary and appropriate for me to hold talks with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and his adviser Sartaj Aziz to discuss bilateral issues,” said Sushma.
On Tuesday, Sushma attended a dinner hosted by Aziz for the heads of delegates participating in a multilateral conference on Afghanistan. The fifth ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, an annual gathering of Asian and other countries, is aimed at enhancing cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the region. The high-ranking delegations from 14 participating states, 17 supporting countries and 12 international and regional organisations are participating in the two-day conference.
Meanwhile, sources said that an announcement on Indo-Pak cricket is also likely on Wednesday. Swaraj’s visit comes after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok on Sunday, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement. Her visit comes three years after former external affairs minister SM Krishna travelled to Islamabad in 2012 when the countries also inked a visa liberalisation pact. Sushma is accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who was also present during the four-hour-long meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Janjua in the Thai capital.