Nawaz-Modi meetings had positive impact on Pak-India formal talks: Aziz

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 29 (APP): Terming Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan a good development in terms of Pak-India relations, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz Tuesday said the meetings between the two countries’ leadership had brought positive impact on their formal talks.

Making a statement in the Senate regarding short visit of the Indian Prime Minister to Pakistan on December 25, he said it was was not a state visit but an informal and goodwill, and was aimed at further developing the existing relationship between the two countries.

He, however, said it was a good development as far as initiation of the dialogue process between the two countries was concerned but cautioned against unrealistic expectations.

There would be progress on some issues soon while it would take time for progress on others, he added.

He said as per decision of the two prime ministers, foreign secretaries of the two countries would meet on January 14 or 15 next in which a map for the agreed 10 identified points for the next six months would be drawn up.

Aziz said that the Indian Prime Minister on December 25 called his Pakistani counterpart and expressed his desire to meet him.

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told him that at the moment he was in Lahore and later Prime Minister Modi landed in Lahore.

He said the meeting of foreign secretaries was also confirmed in Modi-Nawaz meeting. The warmth of relations created by the Lahore meeting, he added, would hopefully have an impact on the formal dialogue.

Sartaj Aziz said except reaction from some quarters in India the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been welcomed by majority of the people in the two countries as well as the international community.

The Advisor dispelled the impression that the entourage of the Indian Prime Minister visited Lahore without any visa. An 11-member delegation which accompanied Prime Minister Modi to Raiwind, he clarified, was issued temporary visas and all immigration procedures were followed.

Remaining 100 members of the entourage remained at the airport.

Responding to a point raised by Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan, the Advisor said no secret meeting was held between Pak-Indian prime ministers at Kathmandu.

He said both the prime ministers had five meetings. If the leadership took any step to improve their relationship it would have positive impact in future line of action, he added.

He said after the Paris meeting of both the prime ministers, security advisors and foreign secretaries of the two countries met in Kathmando on December 6 in which peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir, counter terrorism, harmony on the Line of Control and other issues were discussed.

Sartaj Aziz said that Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, during Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad, held a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, besides holding detailed discussion at the Foreign Ministry, in which it was decided to resume the comprehensive dialogue process.

It was also decided in that meeting that the foreign secretaries would deliberate upon a 10-point agenda, including peace and security, Jammu and Kashmir, Sircreek, anit- terrorism, anti-narcotics and other issues.

Defence Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif informed the House that after taking input from his ministry he would brief the House on the recent visist of Chief of the Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif to Kabul.

The Senate Chairman asked the Defence Minister to brief the House by Thursday on COAS visit to Kabul.