Ahead of Sushma Swaraj's visit on Tuesday, Pakistan says talks the only way forward

Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said Sushma Swaraj will leave for Islamabad on Tuesday and “will give a statement after coming back”.

By Deepak Nagpal | Updated: Dec 07, 2015, 22:31 PM IST
PlayAhead of Sushma Swaraj's visit on Tuesday, Pakistan says talks the only way forward
Sushma Swaraj will meet Sartaj Aziz in Islamabad

New Delhi: The Union government confirmed on Monday that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Pakistan tomorrow, in what is being seen as a thaw in the frosty Indo-Pak relations.

The development comes just a day after National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan met in Thailand's capital Bangkok to resume bilateral talks in a rather quiet, secretive manner.

The duo "agreed to carry forward the constructive engagement".

Also Read: India, Pakistan NSAs hold talks in Bangkok; discuss terrorism, Kashmir

Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said Sushma Swaraj will leave for Islamabad on Tuesday and “will give a statement after coming back”.

"The government will brief in detail on talks in both Houses (of Parliament) once Sushma Swaraj returns from Islamabad," Rudy said.

Also Read: Sushma Swaraj to meet Nawzaz Sharif

Sushma Swaraj will primarily be in Islamabad to take part in the "Heart of Asia" security conference on Afghanistan.

However, with the resumption of bilateral talks, she is now also slated to hold talks with the Pakistani leadership on bilateral issues.

Sartaj Aziz, advisor to Pakistan PM on foreign affairs, will be meeting Swaraj in Islamabad.

Also Read: Here's why India, Pakistan NSAs met in Bangkok for talks

He said today: “I am looking forward to meeting Sushma Swaraj in Islamabad. Talking is the only solution (to resolving problems).”

The talks between the National Security Advisors of the two countries yesterday covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues including tranquility along the LoC (Line of Control), said a joint statement issued after the Bangkok meeting.

The talks between Ajit Doval and Naseer Khan Janjua were held "in a candid, cordial and constructive atmosphere", the statement added.

Doval and Janjua "were guided by the vision of the two leaders for a peaceful, stable and prosperous South Asia. It was agreed to carry forward the constructive engagement", it said further.

Foreign Secretaries S Jaishankar of India and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry of Pakistan also took part in the meeting.

The Sunday meeting between NSAs of India and Pakistan followed the meeting of Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Paris on the sidelines of the Conference of Parties (CoP) 21 climate summit on November 30.

After a long gap, Modi and Sharif had a brief but warm chat as they bumped into each other in Paris.

This was the first meeting between them since they met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Ufa, Russia, in July this year.

After the Ufa meet, they had directed their Foreign Secretaries to initiate the process of renewal of bilateral talks, including meetings between their NSAs.

But talks between Doval and his then Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz scheduled in New Delhi in August were axed after the Pakistan envoy here insisted on inviting Hurriyat leaders for a reception in honour of Aziz.