ISLAMABAD: Pakistan hopes that the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Russia on Friday will help defuse tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.
At the weekly news briefing of the Foreign Office, FO spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah confirmed on Thursday that the two premiers would meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit scheduled to be held in the Russian city of Ufa on July 10 and 11.
Terming the scheduled meeting between the two leaders “a positive development”, Khalilullah said the meeting was likely to have “a positive impact on the bilateral relations at regional and international levels”.
The spokesperson said the two prime ministers would discuss all the issues that are important to both their countries.
The Nawaz-Modi meeting is scheduled in the backdrop of tensions between the two neighbours that had emerged after a series of controversial statements issued by the Indian premier against Pakistan.
Modi had not only accused Pakistan of fuelling terrorism in India but also admitted that India had played a part in the break-up of Pakistan in 1971.
Politicians on both sides of the border exchanged a volley of accusations hither and thither after Modi issued the statements.
Referring to the recent talks in Murree between senior Afghan officials and representatives of the Taliban, the FO spokesperson said negotiations between the two sides was a major breakthrough. “It’s the first time that both sides have held direct talks.”
He said the talks were held in a cordial atmosphere and both the sides had agreed to meet again after Ramazan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2015.