Efforts will be to take forward bilateral ties, says Sushma Swaraj after reaching Islamabad

Efforts will be to take forward bilateral ties, says Sushma Swaraj after reaching Islamabad

By: || Updated: 08 Dec 2015 11:05 PM
Islamabad/New Delhi: “The message that I have come with is that our Indo-Pak relations should become much better and should move forward,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj briefed the press after arriving in Islamabad to attend a multilateral conference.

India and Pakistan are set to hold the third bilateral engagement at the top level in less than 10 days.

Sources have told ABP News that the India-Pakistan cricket series announcement is likely to be made during her visit.

Sushma met her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz during a banquet hosted by him for the heads of delegates participating in a multilateral conference on Afghanistan.

Aziz greeted Swaraj warmly and both engaged in a brief conversation. Aziz later sat next to Swaraj.

Swaraj arrived here on a two-day visit, primarily to attend the 'Heart of Asia' 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan on Wednesday.

She will hold talks with Aziz and call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the conference on Wednesday.

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.



After arriving here, Swaraj said relationship between the two countries should be better and that she will hold talks with Pakistani leaders to find ways to improve bilateral ties.

"I have come with the message that ties between the two countries should be good and move forward," said Swaraj.

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.


After the Bangkok meeting between India's Ajit Doval and Naseer Khan Janjua of Pakistan, along with foreign secretaries S. Jaishanker and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Swaraj is also expected to take up a host of other issues.

A joint statement issued by the two sides in Bangkok said: "Discussions covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues including tranquility along the LoC (Line of Control that divides the two counties)."

Sushma Swaraj's visit has evoked keen interest in diplomatic circles and among stakeholders.

“What seemed impossible just weeks ago has turned into a remarkable, almost unprecedented, round of diplomacy at the very highest levels," the Dawn newspaper said in an editorial ahead of the Indian minister's visit.

"The meetings must, first and foremost, be welcomed by every right-thinking Indian and Pakistani. Not talking to each other should be an unacceptable state of affairs when it comes to the two South Asian neighbours."

The main purpose of the visit though is the conference -- The Heart of Asia Istanbul Process -- that was established in 2011 at the initiative of Afghanistan and Turkey.

The Fifth Ministerial Conference is expected to adopt a forward looking Islamabad Declaration entitled "Enhanced Cooperation for Countering Security Threats and Promoting Connectivity in the Heart of Asia Region".


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