Friday, March 18th, 2016

After putting Pakistan on the mat over Pathankot, Sushma ends SAARC summit

Narada Desk | March 18, 2016 12:51 pm Print
Sushma Swaraj, indians abducted in iraq, External Affairs Minister
Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs MinisterA

Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister

After wrapping up her three-day visit, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj left the Nepalese resort town of Pokhara after attending the SAARC Ministerial meeting on sidelines of which she held the first bilateral talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz and discussed the Pathankot terror attack.

She had announced that a Pakistani Joint Investigation Team will arrive in India on March 27 to carry forward its probe into the Pathankot terror attack.

The dastardly assault figured very high in the over 20-minute meeting between Swaraj and Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz, the first political-level engagement between the two sides after the January 2 terror strike on the key air force base. “It’s not possible that I and Pakistan Foreign Affairs Advisor meet (Sartaj Aziz) and Pathankot issue is not taken up. Yes, it was discussed,” Sushma Swaraj said.

Swaraj also accepted Pakistan’s invitation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Islamabad for the SAARC Summit to be held on November 9-10 this year.

She also pitched for unleashing the “collective strength” of SAARC while underlining the for a South Asian Economic Union with greater connectivity and forward movement on pending agreements on rail and motor vehicles.

Aziz, meanwhile, expressed the hope that Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will meet in Washington on March 31, on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit. “I hope both prime ministers will meet on March 31,” he said, adding that he was not sure if there will be a structured dialogue between the two leaders at that time.