Sartaj Aziz to visit India for talks on August 23

Published: August 13, 2015
"I can confirm that I will be going to India on August 23," Sartaj Aziz. PHOTO: REUTERS

"I can confirm that I will be going to India on August 23," Sartaj Aziz. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign policy chief will visit New Delhi for security talks on August 23, he said on Thursday, in the rivals’ first attempt in months to restart talks.

“I can confirm that I will be going to India on August 23,” Sartaj Aziz, adviser on foreign affairs to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told a news conference.

Aziz said his visit was “not a breakthrough in terms of composite dialogue and all the issues but at least it is an ice breaking on some issues… and let’s hope it will lead to further more comprehensive dialogue on the other issues between the two countries”.

The two prime ministers had agreed to the step during their meeting in Russia, he added.

India proposed Aug 23-24 date for talks, says Aziz

Earlier this month, Aziz said India had proposed August 23 and 24 as possible dates for the crucial meeting between Pakistan and India’s national security advisers.

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 in July.

Read: Ufa meeting: Modi ready to visit Pakistan next year

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.

Rejecting the Indian accusations, the Foreign Office (FO) warned that such ‘provocative’ accusations by India were a threat to peace and security in the region.

Read: Gurdaspur attack aftermath: FO rebuffs Indian claims over Pakistan infiltration

“Pakistan regrets the unsubstantiated and unwarranted assertion that those involved in the Gurdaspur incident of July 27 entered India from Pakistan,” FO spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said in a statement issued in response. “Pakistan believes that the [Indian] home minister’s provocative comments are a threat to peace and security in the region,” he warned.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Pakistani Dude
    Aug 13, 2015 - 1:29PM

    And Indian analysts had predicted that Pakistan will backoff from the talks. I wonder what they will say now….Recommend

  • Abacus
    Aug 13, 2015 - 1:37PM

    Face saving measure. Watch this space – pakistan will come up with some excuse not to talk. Maybe some false flag operation within pakistan which will be blamed, as usual, on RAW? There will also be some attempt to push in more infiltrators, more cross border exchanges, maybe a strike within India. But India will not call off the talks.Recommend

  • Pankaj
    Aug 13, 2015 - 1:48PM

    Waste of money, time and resources. Pakistan is not going to move forward until Kashmir is discussed which is so complicated that talks are goings to end without any results and blame on each other for stalling the opportunity. Recommend

  • Aug 13, 2015 - 2:40PM

    Really tired of all this bickering. Both are going to stay next door to each other forever. High time to address each others concerns with an open mind and move on. We can never be best of friends but lets not be enemies either. Lets pray sanity prevails on both sides. Recommend

  • Afzal
    Aug 13, 2015 - 2:44PM

    When tensions are running high, talks are always good even when nothing is expected to change much.
    The day India and Pakistan can resolve Kashmir they will be seen as having become civilised nations.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Aug 13, 2015 - 4:06PM

    Much to the excitement of NS&Co.Recommend

  • Pankaj
    Aug 13, 2015 - 4:46PM

    There is no doubt Kashmir is the biggest issue between India and Pakistan but if one can clearly see that this issue is blocking the progress of other initiative in last 68 years then we should keep it aside for some time and work on non-controversial issues which we called Confidence Building Measures (CBM) while talking to Chinese or Bangladeshi on border dispute. India was trying to explain Pakistan the same thing but Pak is not ready to discuss other than Kashmir which is a black hole. Recommend

  • Aug 13, 2015 - 6:12PM

    I agree with you.Recommend

  • Kanishka
    Aug 13, 2015 - 10:32PM

    Google Sartaj Aziz’s visit to New Delhi in 1999 after the start of Kargil operation by Musharraf. Sartaj was insisting that the take over of hills was done only by the Kashmiri “Mujahideens”, and Pakistan army had nothing to do with this despite India presenting indellible evidence of those intruders being regualars from the army and Northern Scouts of Pakistan. Pakistan has taken double speak to new heights since its creation in 1947 when they used Tribal to invade Kashmir state wihle using denialability.

    Indian delegation head Jaswant Singh refused to shake hand with Sartaj who was trying to hide sun with his two fingers.Recommend

  • Aug 14, 2015 - 3:32AM

    Smiley Sartaj going to his ancestral home. New Delhi.
    He will return empty handed. Because Modi wants to
    win the next election. Since all his policies are failing.
    Nothing happening. This is just a drama, staged by ModiRecommend

  • J.Niaz
    Aug 14, 2015 - 4:08AM

    We all know that “Gurdaspur” was an “all India” affair.
    They will come up with another red herring.
    If they do, Sartaj Aziz should cancel his visit.Recommend

  • J.Niaz
    Aug 14, 2015 - 4:09AM

    We all know that “Gurdaspur” was an “all India” affair.
    They will come up with another red herring.
    If they do, Sartaj Aziz should cancel his visit.Recommend

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