ISLAMABAD: New Delhi has proposed August 23 and 24 as possible dates for the crucial meeting between Pakistan and India’s national security advisers, Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz confirmed on Sunday.
Talking to Radio Pakistan, Aziz, however, said that Islamabad had yet to respond to the proposal. Similarly, he said, the agenda of the meeting, which is expected to focus on terrorism-related issues, has not yet been finalised.
The national security advisers’ meeting is part of the understanding reached between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit held in Ufa, Russia last month.
The fate of the meeting has been hanging in the balance due to tensions between the two nuclear armed neighbors in the aftermath of the Gurdaspur attack. India claimed the three gunmen who went on a killing spree in the district came from Pakistan after crossing River Ravi which Pakistan dismissed.
Following the Nawaz and Modi’s talks in Ufa, Sartaj Aziz said that Islamabad would raise the issue of Indian interference in Pakistan’s internal matters during the security advisers’ meeting.
But his statement on Sunday indicated that the two countries probably need to sort out some issues before that.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2015.