A day after India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday, Islamabad on Wednesday said both the PMs recognised the need to turn a new leaf in the relations between the two South Asian neighbours.
Sartaj Aziz, the advisor to the Pakistan’s Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security, told a press conference that since Modi and Sharif met during a ceremonial occasion, Kashmir was discussed, but not substantially during the bilateral meeting on Tuesday in New Delhi. Whenever Kashmir is discussed, the view of Hurriyat leaders has to be taken along, added Aziz. He also added that Sharif did not meet the Hurriyat leadership as it was a ceremonial visit to India.
Giving an insight into the meeting held between Modi and Sharif, Aziz said the Pakistani PM conveyed it to his Indian counterpart that the people and the government of Pakistan were committed to fighting terrorism.
Underlining that the meeting between the two leaders was not just a photo op, but its outcome proved better than anyone’s expectations, Aziz said Sharif did invite Modi to Pakistan.
He added that Sharif told Modi that Lahore peace declaration, which was inked under the BJP government, is a good starting point.
Aziz said the issue of cross-border terrorism was discussed and both the sides expressed mutual concern to convert confrontation into cooperation.
“Foreign secretaries of both sides (India and Pakistan) will meet to review and take forward bilateral agenda,” added the Pakistan NSA.
On the issue of Mumbai attacks, Aziz said: “Let law take its course. India reiterated that the process should be expedited. Nothing new in this.”
Modi had surprised everyone when he invited Sharif on the occasion of his oath-taking ceremony as India’s PM. The Pakistani PM had eventually accepted the invitation and paid two-day visit to India with a delegation.