India to move at Pakistan's pace

DECCAN CHRONICLE | SHAFQAT ALI
Published Dec 10, 2015, 11:13 am IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 7:18 pm IST
PM Narendra Modi will visit Islamabad for SAARC meet in September 2016.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj shakes hands with Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz before a meeting in Islamabad (Photo: PTI)
 External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj shakes hands with Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz before a meeting in Islamabad (Photo: PTI)

Islamabad: External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj made no mention of the proposed cricket series between the two countries, about which there had been much speculation lately, amid reports that it had been put on hold for the time being.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ms Swaraj called on Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif and attended the Heart of Asia summit that was jointly hosted by Pakistan and Afghanistan. The meetings with the PM and Mr Aziz were considered crucial as many long-standing issues were discussed.

 

Mr Sharif, officials said, reiterated his determination of having friendly relations with all neighbouring countries, and said all disputes should be resolved through dialogue. Ms Swaraj also confirmed that Indian PM Narendra Modi will visit Pakistan for the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation summit expected to be held in September 2016.

Separately, on Wednesday, Ms Swaraj said India was prepared to move “our cooperation at a pace which Pakistan is comfortable with”. Addressing the “Heart of Asia” 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan, she extended her hand of friendship to Pakistan as well, urging both sides to display maturity and self-confidence to do business with each other and strengthen regional trade and cooperation. “The entire world is waiting and rooting for a change. Let us not disappoint them,” she said.

Ms Swaraj added: “For its part, India is prepared to move our cooperation at a pace which Pakistan is comfortable with. But today, let us at least resolve to help Afghanistan — in the best tradition of good neighbourliness — through more effective transit arrangements.”

She said Afghanistan was threatened most by terrorism and not tribal or ethnic rivalries. “In the last few months, terrorism in Afghanistan has grown in both in intensity and scope. Terrorists have made concerned efforts to capture and hold territory, reminding us that they have not changed,” she maintained.

She lauded the Afghan national security forces and the Afghan people for countering the forces of terrorism and extremism with courage and resilience. Mr Swaraj said: “They need the continued support of the international community to defend Afghanistan’s unity and security. For its part, India is ready to work with Afghanistan to strengthen its defensive capability.

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