No meeting planned between Sharif and Modi: Pak

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Modi and Sharif
Islamabad, Sep 26: Pakistan on Sept 25 said there was "no planned meeting" between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York, while asserting that the onus for resumption of dialogue process was on India which suspended the talks.

"We have not sought a meeting and we have not received any request," Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said at the weekly briefing here. Replying to a question, she said the two Foreign Offices are in contact through their respective High Commissions about possible meetings of the foreign secretaries which was cancelled last month. "We did not cancel the talks so it is up to India now to indicate how it wants to proceed," she said.

In New York, Pakistan's National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said that the onus for resumption of dialgue process was on India which suspended the talks.

"If India takes initiative only then talks can happen because they had suspended the talks," Aziz told reporters. In August, India called off talks over Pakistani High Commissioner's meetings with Kashmiri separatists leaders.

"It was an over reaction by India. Hurriyat talks were nothing new. We've been meeting Hurriyat since last 20 years," Aziz said, asserting that "Initiative for talks has to come from India".

Aslam said that Sharif visited India to attend the oath taking ceremony of Prime Minister Modi and there the two leaders agreed that the two Foreign Secretaries would meet and resume the dialogue process.

"You would recall that the meeting between the Foreign Secretaries was also announced but it was then abruptly cancelled by the Indian side on the pretext that Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi had met with the Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders," she said.

She said Pakistan wants to focus on the disputes between the two countries, including the issue of Kashmir so that a peaceful solution could be found through dialogue.

"Our efforts are not lacking in any way," she said. Aslam also said that Pakistan offered to assist flood victims in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan also proposed India to address the larger issue of climate change and other issues that may be adversely impacting the climate.

PTI

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