The Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Islamabad today evening, amid criticism in New Delhi, to attend the Heart of Asia Conference as well as to hold talks with Pakistan on multiple issues.
Swaraj is leading an Indian delegation to Islamabad for talks on Afghanistan, India’s foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup had said yesterday on Twitter.
But Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said various matters on resumption of composite dialogue between the two countries will be discussed during talks with the Indian minister, adding that she will also hold a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Earlier today, PM Nawaz chaired a high-level meeting in Islamabad, attended by army chief and senior cabinet members, to hash out Pakistan’s stance, particularly regarding Afghanistan and India.
Later, Nawaz also held a one-on-one meeting with army chiefGen Raheel Sharif to discuss ‘security-related matters.’
Since Modi’s ascent to power, tensions between the two countries have remained high, with foreign secretary-level talks cancelled last year and security advisers’ dialogue abandoned in August this year.
But the relationship appears to have thawed after Modi and Sharif resumed high-level contacts with a brief conversation at a climate change summit in Paris last week and their national security advisers met in Bangkok on Sunday.
The brief and unannounced meeting between the two security advisers in Bangkok and a joint statement they issued shows New Delhi rowing back from its recent position and agreeing to discuss Jammu and Kashmir in the otherwise familiar mix of issues.
Earlier, security adviser level talks between India and Pakistan, scheduled for August 23 and 24, were canceled as both nations reached a deadlock over Pakistan’s insistence to hold a meeting with Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders in New Delhi on August 23 despite India’s ‘advice’ to the contrary.