'Modi's call to Sharif shows effort to break deadlock in ties'

Islamabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in what is being seen here as an effort to revive the suspended diplomatic dialogue, officials said today.

Prime Minister Modi telephoned Sharif and other heads of the SAARC nations participating in the ICC Cricket World Cup and conveyed best wishes for the showpiece event. Modi said he would be sending country's new Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on a 'SAARC Yatra' to "further strengthen our ties".

Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif

Modi's telephonic call to Sharif today came hours after US President Barack Obama spoke with the Pakistani Premier. Prime Minister Modi's call to Sharif and the announcement to send the Foreign Secretary shows that he is now ready to move ahead, a senior Pakistani government official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

"We had clearly informed the Indian side that we want earlier revival of talks but without any conditions," the official said. It seems that Pakistan's stance has been accepted and "all issues will be discussed" when the Indian Foreign Secretary visits Pakistan, the official said.

Sharif's office said in a statement that Prime Minister Modi made a telephone call to Sharif this morning and informed that India's Foreign Secretary would visit Pakistan. "After greetings and pleasantries Prime Minister Modi informed the Prime Minister that India's new Foreign Secretary will soon visit all SAARC counties and would also like to visit Pakistan," the statement said.

"The Prime Minister, recalling his meeting with the Prime Minister of India on 27th May, 2014 welcomed the visit of Indian Foreign Secretary to Pakistan to discuss all issues of common interest," it said.

Jaishankar's visit to Pakistan will be significant given that India had cancelled Foreign Secretary-level talks in August last year after the Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi held consultations with the Kashmiri separatists on the eve of the Indo-Pak talks.

Pakistan took the position that since India cancelled the talks, it should take the lead to reviving the process. Analysts in Pakistan say that it was expected that after the visit of President Obama some movement on Indo-Pak ties would be made.

    Leave a Reply