Pakistani envoy discusses bilateral relations with India's external affairs minister

Foreign Office refutes reports Indian minister called for dropping charges against Jadhav

Our Correspondent October 21, 2017
People from Pakistan have been tweeting the Indian union minister directly requesting medical visas. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi earlier this week and held talks on ‘broad contours of bilateral relations’, the Foreign Office said in a statement on Saturday.

The Foreign Office, however, emphasised that the meeting was a ‘customary practice’ and not related to any specific case. “It is customary for the newly-posted envoys to make courtesy calls on the local dignitaries,” said the statement.

“The high commissioner had a meeting with India's Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, on 17 October 2017. The meeting was held in a cordial and constructive atmosphere,” said the statement, which came after certain media reports tried to paint different scenarios regarding the meeting.

Sushma Swaraj grants two more medical visas for Pakistanis

“The minister and the high commissioner took stock of the current state of Pakistan-India relations.  While broad contours of bilateral relations were deliberated upon during this interaction, no specific case came under discussion. Therefore, the reports appearing in the Indian media are speculative," it concluded.

Indian media had reported that Swaraj had asked Pakistan to drop all charges against Kulbhushan Jadhav, a self-confessed and convicted spy belonging to India’s Research and Analysis Wing who was apprehended from Balochistan last year.

Jadhav’s case is currently being heard by the International Court of Justice which earlier this year put a stay on the death sentence awarded to him by a military court for “espionage and terror activities on Pakistani soil”.

Mahmood has recently assumed office as Pakistan's High Commissioner to India.


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