Pakistan seeks early resumption of comprehensive bilateral dialogue

Following the foreign secretary-level talks between Indian and Pakistan here on Tuesday, the Pakistani foreign office stated that Islamabad has sought early resumption of the comprehensive bilateral dialogue between the two south Asian neighbours.

According to Pakistan foreign office spokesman Mohammed Nafees Zakaria, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, during the talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar, expressed the confidence that building on the goodwill generated by the recent high-level contacts, the two countries should remain committed to a sustained, meaningful and comprehensive dialogue process.

“He underscored the need for early commencement of comprehensive dialogue for which the Indian foreign secretary’s visit to Pakistan is due,” Zakaria tweeted after the meeting ahead of the Heart of Asia Conference on Tuesday.

During External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad in December last year for the Heart of Asia Conference, India and Pakistan agreed to start a comprehensive bilateral dialogue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s December 25 stopover at Lahore to greet and meet Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his birthday also gave a fillip to the dialogue process.

However, the foreign secretary-level talks as part of this dialogue, scheduled earlier for the middle of January this year, got stalled following the cross-border attack on the Pathankot airbase on January 2 in which seven Indian security personnel were killed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed militants.

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