Sushma Swaraj: Have come with message to move forward

Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation at the 'Heart of Asia' 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan tomorrow

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: December 9, 2015 3:03 am
sushma swaraj, sushma swaraj pakistan, swaraj, swaraj in pakistan, swaraj sharif meet, swaraj aziz meet, sushma swaraj pakistan pm, pakistan pm, india news, pakistan news In Islamabad, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will hold talks with Aziz and call on the Pakistani Prime Minister. (PTI Photo)

With cool winds from Margalla Hills blowing in the Pakistan capital, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived Tuesday in Islamabad with some warmth.

Swaraj, who attended an hour-long dinner and cultural programme in the evening, hosted by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz, said she wanted ties between the two countries to improve and that she would hold talks to accomplish this.

Swaraj, who is here to attend the Heart of Asia conference, and Aziz sat at the same table alongside foreign ministers from other countries. “I have come with the message that ties between the two countries should be good and move forward,” she said at the airport, beginning her visit that would last less than 24 hours. The last time she was in Pakistan was in 2002 to attend the SAARC I&B ministers conference.

Swaraj is likely to call on Sharif at 4 pm Wednesday and then hold talks with her counterpart Aziz at 5.15 pm, sources said. Before that, from 9 am to 1 pm, she will attend the ministerial session of the Heart of Asia conference.

On Monday, Aziz had said that talks will focus on resumption of the composite dialogue process, and that the deadlock in Indo-Pak ties has eased to an extent — a far cry from the bitter exchange of words about three-and-a-half months ago.

While the overall atmosphere appeared positive, leading analysts in the country sounded a note of caution.

Javed Jabbar, a former senator and member of the think tank, Senate Forum for Policy Research, told The Indian Express that he is viewing the engagement between the two countries with “positive scepticism”.

“I am happy to see the meetings taking place, since the attitude by the Indian government had shown very less flexibility,” he said. “I am sceptical of any success, unless the Narendra Modi government gives credit to the work done by Manmohan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and carries forward the good work (that has been) done.”

Similarly, he said, the Pakistan government “should look forward” and “not treat the work done by Musharraf as Musharraf’s concept. It should instead see it as Pakistan’s concept”.

Humayun Bangash, a retired Lieutenant General based in Lahore who heads the India-Pakistan soldiers initiative for peace, said, “This is a like a breath of fresh air. We can’t afford to be hostile like this; it was unfortunate that there was a breakdown of talks. It was a great disappointment.”

Bangash, who has also served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Turkey, however, added, “I will be stupid to have high hopes. But it’s good that ice-breaking took place.”

“The extremists on both sides want to spike the talks, but it is the leadership at the political level whose directions are to be followed,” Bangash said.

Muhammad Mehdi, a foreign policy analyst who has been associated with the PML(N), said he “does not have too much hope” from the engagement. “Many times, dialogue has begun, and then stopped,” Mehdi said.

He said both countries need a “peaceful and quiet” Line of Control, and the current round of meetings and outreach was happening due to “international pressure”.

Mosharraf Zaidi, a former adviser to the Pakistan foreign ministry, said that the fresh round of engagement is because of “cooler heads in Delhi”. “This engagement enables us liberals, gives us some ammunition after a year. We have to find the silver lining in small things,” he said, hoping that the Indian PM would come to Pakistan for the SAARC summit next year.

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  1. A
    aaftab alama
    Mar 3, 2016 at 8:13 pm
    Sushma swaraj ji hame aapki madad ki zarurat hai mera bhai riyadh saudi arabia mein hai company ne 6 maheene se koi ry nahi di ghar jane k liya kehte hain to comoany kehti hai 4000 riyal do or ticket ka paisa do tab ghar bhejenge. Company ka naam hai unistar iss company mein bahut log hain jo iss haal mein hai.
    1. B
      Dec 8, 2015 at 10:57 pm
      1. T
        Tippu Sultan
        Dec 9, 2015 at 6:09 am
        How big is NaMo sina now? 32 inch? He has sent a woman to please the same s he was calling rapsists just few days ago. He is like a begar, sometimes he falls at feet of bangladesh, sometimes china, sometimes UAE, sometiems usa, sometimes uk. The only country where his chest is 56 inch is Hindu country Nepal. He and his RSS are paid workers of muslim and christian countries and they are woking hard to destroy Hinduism in India.
        1. C
          ChattraPatti Shivajimaharaj
          Dec 8, 2015 at 10:10 pm
          This is a big mistake by NaMo, when he is the only competent person to travel to other countries and achieve any results, wy has he sent this Hindu woman into the den of muslim rpists? It is a shame that anyone else except NaMo is doing foreign travel, it is a waste of taxpayer money to send other wannabes from his government to foreign. With her contact with Lalit Modi and betting mafia, who knows what deals will she make with s and Dawood who run betting rings all over the world. These people are showing how useless and corrupt they are.
          1. P
            pandit ram
            Dec 8, 2015 at 4:10 pm
            Dialogue only option for both countries,,, solution is important if not friend not b enemy
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