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FM Qureshi-Sushma meeting on the cards in New York next month?

BY IFTIKHAR MASHWANI

ISLAMABAD : Pakistan and India may see resumption of formal dialogue after a hiatus when their foreign ministers will attend the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York next month, and likely to hold an audience on the sidelines of the UNGA.

The UNGA session will kick off from September 18.

According to Times of India, there is no official proposal yet for a meeting, however, there’s an understanding among both sides that they should make use of this first available opportunity for a significant contact between the two countries in line with the call by both Narendra Modi and Imran Khan for constructive engagement.

While India has ruled out formal talks, or the start of comprehensive bilateral dialogue, the government’s position does not preclude any interaction with Pakistan leaders at multilateral events, the report adds.

Modi had written to Khan after his swearing-in expressing commitment for “constructive and meaningful’’ engagement with Pakistan. For the Modi government, UNGA offers a great opportunity to break the ice with the new government in Pakistan before it seriously considers moving on to more substantive engagement.

According to the TOI report, a substantive bilateral engagement though, which means having comprehensive dialogue, may still have to wait until the Imran Khan’s government shows some inclination to bring the perpetrators of Pathankot and Mumbai attacks to justice.

The Pathankot incident worsened the ties between two neighbouring countries in December 2015.

After the death of former Indian PM Vajpayee, the Indian high commission in Pakistan tweeted pictures from the former PM’s several visits to Pakistan describing these as “glimpses of his intimate association with Pakistan”.

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