Breaking the ice in bilateral relations, Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan will meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session that begins later in September — the first such interaction after a long hiatus.
“I can confirm that the two foreign ministers will meet on the sidelines of the UNGA. At this stage we have just agreed to the meeting,” External Affairs Ministry (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told the weekly media briefing here.
“The permanent missions of India and Pakistan will work out the date of the meeting,” he said, indicating it is not a resumption of dialogue.
This follows a letter written by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking resumption of dialogue and suggesting a meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of UNGA, and a letter written by Qureshi to Swaraj.
Replying to questions, Kumar said this is just a meeting and there is nothing much to be read into this at this stage.
“This meeting is taking place at the request of the Prime Minister (of Pakistan). We have not analysed details, we have just taken note of the letter written by Khan to Modi.”
Kumar also revealed that India has confirmed that it would attend a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) foreign ministers.
“The existing policy on the Saarc process will continue. I don’t think there is any change in it,” said the MEA spokesperson.
Asked whether the foreign ministers meeting in New York is the beginning of a dialogue process, he merely repeated that they requested for a meeting and we have not discussed details.
On reports of brutality on a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan who was killed in firing from the Pakistani side, he said it was a barbaric incident and the BSF has written a strong communication to its counterparts in Pakistan.
“It is a serious issue and we will take it up Pakistan.”