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Modi calls up Sharif, Jaishankar to visit Pak

Modi calls up Sharif, Jaishankar to visit Pak
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In an ice-breaking move after a six-month hiatus in Indo-Pak ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif after which it was announced that Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will visit Islamabad when he will “push bilateral agenda”.

Using cricket diplomacy, Modi called leaders of four SAARC nations which, along with India, are participating in cricket World Cup starting on Sunday. He conveyed best wishes to their teams. Thereafter, Modi announced that Jaishankar will undertake a “SAARC yatra” soon to strengthen relationship with them.

The “yatra” will take him to Pakistan with which India broke off foreign secretary-level talks in August last at the eleventh hour because the Pakistan High Commissioner here held consultations with Kashmiri separatists.

Sharif welcomed the foreign secretary’s proposed visit “to discuss all issues of common interest”, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Spokesperson said in Islamabad. Briefing reporters, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “Obviously, no one misuses an opportunity available,” when asked if the Foreign Secretary will use the visit to discuss bilateral issues. “Sure, we have a bilateral agenda with all the SAARC countries and we will pursue that bilateral agenda too within the constraints of short visit to each of these countries....

Every leader and diplomat uses every opportunity to push its bilateral agenda,” he said when repeatedly asked about Foreign Secretary’s visit to Pakistan and if he will discuss bilateral issues.
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