Despite Sharif and Modi bonhomie, Sartaz Aziz does not expect much from talks

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Sartaj Aziz,Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s Advisor on Foreign Affairs
Sartaj Aziz,Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif`s Advisor on Foreign Affairs

 

While there is an air of expectancy and  a boost in India and Pakistan ties after Indian Prime  Minister Narendra  on the way back from Kabul took the world by surprise by making a “stopover” in Lahore on his way back home from Kabul to greet Sharif on his 66th birthday. The Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz  is sounding a word of caution over the gung-ho meeting. He has  said it would not be fair to expect much from the talks scheduled here next month between the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India.

Aziz was speaking to Radio Pakistan’s Current Affairs programme about the possibility of peace between Pakistan and India, Aziz said it would not be fair to expect instant resolution of all issues between the two countries.

“And therefore, initially focus would be on reduction of tension and maintenance of calm on the Line of Control to provide relief to the people living across LoC,” he said.  Aziz said the comprehensive dialogue in January between Pakistan and India will focus on all outstanding issues, including Kashmir.

He said in a dramatic and unscheduled meeting between prime ministers of India and Pakistan in Lahore  it was decided that foreign secretaries of the two countries would meet in mid-January to decide details of dialogue on all issues.

To a question, he said promotion of good relations with all neighbours is the policy of Prime Minister Sharif as this is a pre-requisite to benefit from projects aimed at regional connectivity and resolution of energy crisis.

The first visit by an Indian premier in 11 years marked another step forward by the two countries in their efforts to put on an even keel in their ties which was going through a chill until recently.

Modi also attended a marriage function of Sharif’s grand-daughter Mehrun Nisa (who is the daughter of Mariam Nawaz Sharif) at the latter’s Raiwind home on the outskirts of Lahore.