External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will meet his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz on Friday in Kyrgyzstan try to schedule a meeting between their Prime Ministers in New York later in September.
While a request for a meeting between Khurshid and Pakistan Prime Minister’s national security and foreign policy adviser Aziz was sought by the Pakistani side through their High Commission here,the Indian side has also given the consent for the meeting,official sources said.
They said the meeting between Khurshid and Aziz on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet in Bishkek was also aimed at reducing the tension between the two countries in the backdrop of a series of ceasefire violations. Both India and Pakistan have blamed each other for the violations and summoned the envoys.
While Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has expressed his desire to meet his Indian counterpart on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said he will have to factor in “certain harsh realities” like India being affected by terror before arriving at a “final decision” on meeting his Pakistani counterpart in New York.
Singh asserted he would be happy to meet Sharif under “normal conditions” as he had respect for the Pakistani premier,who had said the right things about how India- Pakistan relations should evolve.
Significantly,Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir also met National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon on Thursday in the Prime Minister’s Office in South Block.