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PM Modi to visit Pakistan next year: Sushma Swaraj

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Islamabad: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Pakistan next year, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said here on Wednesday.

Modi will participate in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit, Swaraj told the media.

This will be the first prime ministerial visit from India to Pakistan since Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited the South Asian neighbour in January 2004 to attend that year’s Saarc summit.

The foreign minister said she would accompany Modi during his visit, Geo TV reported.

Swaraj is in Islamabad to participate in the Heart of Asia Conference on peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Swaraj’s is the first ministerial visit from India to Pakistan since the visit of then external affairs minister S M Krishna in 2012.

At the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in Ufa, Russia, in July, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had invited Modi to attend the Saarc summit next year which the latter had accepted.

After the Ufa meeting, both the prime ministers directed their foreign secretaries to initiate the process of renewing talks, including meetings between the national security advisors of the two countries.

However, NSA-level talks between Doval and then Pakistani NSA Sartaz Aziz scheduled in New Delhi in August were cancelled after the Pakistan high commissioner in New Delhi insisted on inviting Hurriyat leaders for a reception in honour of Aziz.

The two prime ministers again had an impromptu meeting on the sidelines of the Conference of Parties (CoP-21) climate summit in Paris on November 30.

Both leaders were seen warmly shaking hands at the summit venue as world leaders converged for the opening of the event.

The two leaders then sat on the same sofa and were seen engaging in an animated discussion.

Following this, on December 6, National Security Advisors (NSAs) Ajit Doval of India and Naseer Khan Janjua of Pakistan held a meeting in Bangkok which was also attended by Foreign Secretaries S Jaishanker and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

A joint statement issued after the meeting said the two NSAs held discussions “in a candid, cordial and constructive atmosphere”.

According to the statemernt, the NSAs “were guided by the vision of the two leaders for a peaceful, stable and prosperous South Asia.

“Discussions covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues including tranquillity along the LoC (Line of Control).

“It was agreed to carry forward the constrictive engagement,” said the statement.

The LoC divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.(IANS)

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No Need to Panic: PM Narendra Modi on Lockdown

Don't panic, essential items will be available: Modi

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coronavirus Narendra mod
Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people not to panic as all essential commodities like medicines and milk would be available during the shutdown. Pixabay

After announcing a 21-day nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people not to panic as all essential commodities like medicines and milk would be available during the shutdown.

Soon after his address to the nation, the Prime Minister tweeted: “My fellow citizens, there is absolutely no need to panic. Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available. Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this. Together, we will fight COVID-19 and create a healthier India.”

In another tweet, Modi said, “By converging around shops, you are risking the spread of COVID-19. No panic buying please. Please stay indoors. I repeat — Centre and State Governments will ensure all essentials are available.”

coronavirus Narendra modi
Earlier, Modi said in his second special address to the nation within a week, “With folded hands, I request you to stay put wherever you are.” Wikimedia Commons

His appeal came after people across the country started thronging the shops to buy essential items in view of the nationwide three-week lockdown starting Tuesday midnight.

Earlier, Modi said in his second special address to the nation within a week, “With folded hands, I request you to stay put wherever you are.”

He added that he was mindful of the economic ramifications of the decision. Modi warned that if people don’t follow a complete lockdown for the coming 21 days, the nation will go back 21 years and many families will be devastated.

Also Read- Here’s How Robots are Helping Fight Coronavirus

He also said many powerful countries in the world have become helpless, regardless of their efforts. He once again reiterated that social distancing was the only way to deal with the dreaded virus that has infected more than 500 people in India so far.

“Some people are under the misconception that social distancing is only for those infected with coronavirus… But they should understand that this is for everyone because it is important to break the cycle,” Modi said in his address to the nation. (IANS)