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‘India, Pakistan to work on what they agreed to at Ufa’

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New Delhi: India is going to work with Pakistan according to the joint statement issued after the Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif meeting in Ufa, in Russia, and “will not judge by the airwaves” of what Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz has said in Islamabad, sources said on Tuesday.

According to sources, the India-Pakistan joint statement “is an accurate reflection of the spirit” of the Modi-Sharif meeting in Ufa.

The one-hour meeting in Ufa was “about how to go about talking to each other in a high-level focused way”, the sources said.

The joint statement was formulated by both the foreign secretaries – India’s S. Jaishankar and Pakistan’s Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary – and “captures the main points of the meeting” and “reasonably, accurately reflects the substance of the meeting”, sources said.

The statement, read out to the press in Ufa, was shown to Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval before being read out, and likewise taken by the Pakistani foreign secretary to be approved by his higher-ups, said the sources.

The statement was jointly formed by the two foreign secretaries just after the meeting, and “the idea that it is not true and accurate means that both (foreign secretaries) are misleading”, the sources added.

Both the prime ministers came to the meeting “with a fairly positive intent”, which was preceded by their phone calls to each other with regard to the Yemen evacuation, the Nepal earthquake and the Ramadan greetings extended by Modi.

The sources said that Sartaj Aziz’s statements have “not in any way affected what was agreed upon” in Ufa and both sides would begin work on a meeting between their National Security Advisors and the meeting of the DG Border Security Force with the DG Pakistan Rangers and between their Directors General of Military Operations.

According to the sources, what Aziz said in Islamabad does not concern India. “We have to judge on what they said to us,” the informed sources added.

To a question whether Kashmir was discussed at the Ufa meeting, the source said that “broadly the contours of Kashmir – in a way” was discussed at Ufa.

“We want to do things (begin work on the agreed points) sooner than rather than later,” the sources added.

(IANS)

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)