Big takeaways: PM Narendra Modi to visit Pakistan in 2016, NSAs of both countries to meet in Delhihttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/pm-narendra-modi-talks-with-pakistan-pm-nawaz-sharif-today/

Big takeaways: PM Narendra Modi to visit Pakistan in 2016, NSAs of both countries to meet in Delhi

This is the first structured meeting between PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif since May 2014.

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PM Narendra Modi with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia (PTI photo)

In the first structured meeting since May 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif held bilateral talks ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Ufa, Russia.

In a joint press briefing by foreign secretaries of both countries, it was announced that PM Modi will be travelling to Islamabad in 2016, the first visit by him to Pakistan, to participate in the SAARC summit. The joint statement also said that National Security Advisors of both countries will be meeting in Delhi to discuss issues on terrorism. Both sides have also resolved on ways and means to expedite the 26/11 Mumbai attacks trial and exchange voice samples.

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The talks come just a day after fresh round of firing between both countries across the Line of Control. A BSF jawan was killed when Pakistani troops opened fire on Indian pickets in Nowgam sector of north Kashmir.

Tension has been brewing between both countries ever since talks between foreign secretaries were called off last August after the Pakistani envoy held talks with Kashmiri separatists ahead of a bilateral dialogue.

Here is the joint statement of the briefing.

Highlights

1:00 pm: Home Minister Rajnath Singh has welcomed the announcements.

12:06 pm: The Prime Minister is now holding talks with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.

12: 05 pm: A meeting will take place between the two NSA’s in New Delhi.

11:55 am: PM Narendra Modi will be visiting Pakistan for the SAARC summit next year.

11:30 am: The talks have conclusively ended, but there is still no sign of the foreign ministry briefing.

10: 45 am: PM Modi will be meeting Afghan president Ashraf Ghani after the meeting.

10: 42 am: Just getting information that the talks have been extended beyond the scheduled time limit.

10: 30 am: The Indian delegation included National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar while Sartaj Aziz, Sharif’s advisor on foreign affairs and national security, was in the Pakistani delegation.

9: 55 am: A press briefing by India’s foreign ministry office is expected soon after the talks conclude.

9: 50 am: PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif have met and shook hands ahead of talks in Ufa, Russia. They are now closeted in a meeting, likely to last about half an hour.

9: 17 am: The two leaders had an informal meeting at a dinner hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin last night.

9: 00 am: India is likely to raise the release of Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, the 26/11 attacks mastermind, from a Pakistani jail.

8: 55 am: Meanwhile, the US has welcomed the proposed Modi-Sharif meeting, saying tension between the two country is not in anyone’s interest.

“We welcome the (upcoming) meeting between Indian and Pakistani leaders there on the sidelines of this conference,” State Department Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters yesterday at his daily news conference when asked about the Modi-Sharif meeting in Ufa.

8: 50 am: PM Modi held extensive talks with each of the four leaders of the BRICS nations. At the summit, he proposed the setting up of a BRICS Agriculture Research Centre.

8:05 am: When asked by reporters about the meeting, Nawaz Sharif said, “Let’s talk first.”

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8:00 am: The meeting is expected to take place at 9:15 am IST today, as confirmed by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

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