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Pakistan says no talk with India without Kashmir issue

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Islamabad: Days after efforts at cordiality in ties were made by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Premier Narendra Modi in Russian city of Ufa, a top diplomat from Islamabad says no dialogue process will take place with India unless Kashmir issue is included in it.

Sartaz Ajiz

The Pakistan prime minister’s top advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz was quoted by Samaa TV as saying in a news briefing that Pakistan stays firm on its principled stance on the issue with dignity and honour and no compromise will be made on it.

“Sharif raised concerns on all issues (With Modi), including India’s alleged interference in the internal matters of Pakistan, particularly its continuing support for insurgency in Balochistan,” he said.

Aziz admitted the meeting between Sharif and Modi in Russia was not a formal start of any dialogue process but it served an important purpose to achieve a better understanding that both neighbours must reduce tensions and hostility.

“The premier’s meeting with Modi will help boost relations while reducing tensions between the two countries,” Aziz added.

The senior diplomat said, during the meeting both the leaders agreed that the national security advisors of the two countries would first meet in New Delhi and then in Islamabad.

Aziz said Sharif sought information on the progress in the trial in the Samjhauta Express blast, while on the Mumbai 26/11 attack trial the premier conveyed to Modi that more evidence and information were needed to expedite the trial.

(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)

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