Pak in talks with India for bilateral meeting at UNGA
Islamabad, Sep 19: Pakistan on Wednesday said it is “engaged” with India to facilitate a bilateral meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York this month.
Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said that no decision has been taken on the issue so far.
“We are engaged in the matter,” he said when asked about reports that Qureshi and Swaraj may hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA and whether both sides have formally approached each other.
Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation to the UNGA while Qureshi is expected to head the Pakistani side.
The India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place. The ties between the two countries had strained after Pakistan-based terror groups launched attacks in India in 2016.
Responding to a question on the issue of opening the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara corridor, Faisal said “so far no formal communication between the two countries has taken place”.
Earlier, cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu had claimed that Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa told him that the Pakistani government was working for opening of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims from Indian state of Punjab.
Sidhu, a minister in the Punjab government, on Monday met Swaraj and urged her to help initiate dialogue with Pakistan on the opening up of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.
Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib is situated in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The gurdwara is nearly four kilometers from the international border and is visible on a clear day from Dera Baba Nanak in India.
Devotees who are not able to visit Pakistan converge at the international border at Dera Baba Nanak and offer their prayers.
Faisal also said that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who visited Pakistan last week, was briefed about the Line of Control (LoC) situation.
He said Pakistan keeps its friends, particularly China, appraised of the situation on the LoC and Kashmir, as any escalation can have serious consequences for the whole region.