Jaishankar travelling to Pakistan on Mar 3: FO

Jaishankar travelling to Pakistan on Mar 3: FO

"During his visit, Jaishankar would hold meeting with Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry."

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will arrive in Islamabad on a two-day visit on March 3, seven months after India cancelled foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan, officials said Wednesday.

 

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said the visit was taking place following a call by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on February 13. "Pursuant to the Prime Minister of India call to the (Pakistan) Prime Minister on 13 February, 2015, the Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar would visit Pakistan on 3-4 March, 2015," she said in a statement.

 

"During his visit, Jaishankar would hold meeting with Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry."

 

The brief statement did not specify the agenda of these talks but the Foreign Office has earlier said that all outstanding issues, including Kashmir, would be discussed during the visit.

 

It is expected that the two sides would discuss resuming the peace process which was suspended after the 2008 Mumbai attack.

 

The two sides agreed in 2010 when the then premiers Manmohan Singh and Yusuf Raza Gilani met in Bhutan on the sidelines of SAARC summit to resume talks and initial contacts were established but no headway was made.

 

India broke off foreign secretary-level talks in August last at the eleventh hour because the Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi held consultations with Kashmiri separatists.

 

Meanwhile, in India, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar met Home Secretary L C Goyal and is believed to have discussed various issues to be discussed with the neighbouring country.

 

During their nearly half-an-hour-long meeting, Goyal is understood to have briefed Jaishankar about the 26/11 case, the slow progress of the trial in Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi’s move to get bail, official sources said.

 

The Home Secretary is said to have conveyed to the Foreign Secretary all security and terror-related concerns to be flagged with Pakistan during his visit to Islamabad.

 

The Foreign Secretary will undertake ‘SAARC yatra’ from Sunday starting with Bhutan and will travel to Pakistan on March 3, marking the resumption of Indo-Pak talks with India maintaining it stands ready to discuss all outstanding issues including Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Jaishankar will be in Bhutan on March 1, followed by Bangladesh on March 2, Pakistan on March 3 and Afghanistan on March 4. The visit will be in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s directive. 

PTI