India, Pakistan foreign secretaries meet likely to be held on Jan 15

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018

The much-awaited meeting between the Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan is likely to take place on January 15 even as both sides have agreed to discuss all “outstanding issues” concerning both neighbours under the aegis of the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

This comes after Prime Minister’s surprise visit to Pakistan on December 25 to wish Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday as he was returning from Afghanistan via Russia.

The talks, for which Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will travel to Islamabad, will encompass all issues contained in the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue, especially finding a solution to the Kashmir dispute.

All these issues were “touched upon” when both the leaders met at Sharif’s Raiwind Palace in Jati Umra, Lahore.

Discussions between both countries gained momentum after Modi and Sharif met in Paris on the sidelines of COP21 on November 30.

Soon afterwards on December 6, the National Security Advisors – Ajit Doval from India and Nasir Janjua from Pakistan – met in Bangkok, Thailand where they discussed the final contours of the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

According to sources, the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue is a refurbished version of the erstwhile Composite Dialogue, which both sides struggled to put in shape at a four-hour long meeting.

Later on December 9, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj travelled to Islamabad to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ meet in Afghanistan where she met Sharif and his foreign minister Sartaj Aziz.

The Ministry of External Affairs is yet to announce the date of foreign secretary-level talks officially.

Published on December 26, 2015

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