Jaishankar to meet Pakistani counterpart

New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar will meet his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry here on Tuesday morning in the first formal talks between the two nations after the January 2 attack on Pathankot air base in Punjab.

The two officials are meeting on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan here.

The two top diplomats will strive to put the bilateral dialogue process back on track during the meeting at the South Block.

The talks got stalled following the attack on the Pathankot air base in which Seven security personnel were killed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed militants.

The attack derailed the dialogue process which got a kick-start with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Islamabad last October for a Heart of Asia ministerial meeting jointly hosted by Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Both the sides agreed on resumption of the bilateral dialogue, naming it Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s December 25 stopover to Lahore during which he met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif also gave a fillip to the dialogue process.

The Heart of Asia Istanbul Process senior officials meeting will begin at Hyderabad House at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

Ahead of the conference Jaishankar will first hold a bilateral meeting with his Afghanistan counterpart at 10 a.m. and then with his Pakistani counterpart in his chamber in South Block at 11 a.m.

–IANS

rn/py/

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