January 15 talks still on track, says Aziz

Published: January 10, 2016



Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said the talks between the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India planned for January 15 are still on track.

Islamabad has already assured New Delhi of help in investigation into the January 2 terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base which has threatened the fragile thaw in diplomatic relations between the two hyphenated neighbours.

Aziz said on Saturday the programme for the scheduled talks was still intact as no communication for its cancellation has been received from New Delhi. The situation would become clear in the next four days, he added. “To date, the January 15 talks have neither been confirmed nor cancelled by India.”

Talking about the ongoing diplomatic rift between Saudi Arab and Iran, he said any debate should be avoided on the controversial feud. “We don’t want Shia-Sunni repercussions of this feud taking toll on our society,” he said while talking to reporters at the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore.

“Pakistan will play its role in defusing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran at an appropriate time,” he said. “Terrorists and extremists can take benefit of this tension. Other countries, too, have their own agendas in this geopolitical situation.”

Brushing aside speculations regarding the visits of Saudi defence and foreign ministers, Aziz claimed the trips of the Saudi dignitaries were scheduled before the crisis erupted in the Gulf.

While talking about the controversy regarding Rangers powers, Information and Broadcasting Minister Pervaiz Rasheed said Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah had voiced his reservations in a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “We will try to address his reservations,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2016.

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