Pakistan foreign policy chief to visit India for talks

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser to visit New Delhi for the first bilateral conversation on security in months.

    The prime minister's adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said he will travel to New Delhi on August 23 [AFP]
    The prime minister's adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said he will travel to New Delhi on August 23 [AFP]

    Pakistan's foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz has confirmed he will visit New Delhi on August 23, the first attempt in months by the rival countries to restart security talks.

    The adviser on foreign affairs to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told a news conference,"I can confirm that I will be going to India on August 23". 

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart agreed to a new round of talks when they met in Russia last month. Since the meeting, however, a series of attacks and border skirmishes have jeopardised the agreement.

    Violence in areas including Kashmir have escalated in recent weeks with regular conflicts between Indian and Pakistani troops who are stationed on the heavily militarised border.

    Last week, two Indian paramilitary soldiers and a suspected fighter were killed in Indian-administered Kashmir following an attack on a convoy of troops, officials said. 

    Kashmir Police Director-General K Rajendra stated that at least eight soldiers were also wounded in the attack.

    Indian police said the culprit was a Pakistani fighter who revealed that he was from Faisalabad in Pakistan after "preliminary questioning".

    Last month, southern Kashmir experienced an incident where fighters stormed a police station and killed seven people.

    Indian officials claimed evidence had been found which suggested that the fighters had come from Pakistan, through analysis of a GPS tracking device they carried.

    Kashmir has been a flashpoint for both countries due to both claiming the area as their own. This has been an issue for several decades and has caused major conflicts between the nations.

    A 2003 ceasefire between India and Pakistan has largely been successful, despite minor but consistent skirmishes. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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