ISLAMABAD: The Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India will meet Friday on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Russia’s city Ufa, the Foreign Office said Thursday.
“I can confirm that Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi will be having a bilateral meeting tomorrow (Friday) morning in Ufa… and there is no ambiguity about it,” Foreign Office spokesman Qazi M. Khalilullah said in his media briefing at the Foreign Office.
About the agenda of the meeting, the Spokesman said all important issues would come under discussion.
“When the leaders of Pakistan and India meet, they discuss all issues of importance,” he said.
The Spokesperson said the meeting would have positive impact at bilateral, regional and international levels.
He said Pakistan wanted to improve relations with India and resolve the disputes through dialogue, adding that international community was also supportive of betterment in relations between two neighbouring countries.
He mentioned that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his stay in Ufa would also hold bilateral meetings with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, China’s President Xi Jinping and President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani.
About status of Pakistan’s full membership at SCO, the Spokesman said Pakistan was hoping that the membership would be approved in principle.
However, he said before attainment of full membership, a number of steps had to be completed.
About the recent meeting between representatives of the Afghan government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan facilitated by Pakistan at Murree, the Foreign Office Spokesman said the talks were a “breakthrough” as both sides held discussions in a very cordial atmosphere.
He said it was for the first time that direct talks were held between the Afghan government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan. He said the meeting discussed some Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and also agreed to meet again after the month of Ramazan.
“This indicates that both sides intend to continue the process of bringing peace in Afghanistan,” he said.
He said the Afghan government in a statement also appreciated Pakistan’s role as a facilitator.
When asked about the names of delegates, the Spokesman said he was not in a position to give further details about the composition of delegations. However, the participants were duly mandated by their respective leadership.
To a question on reported expansion of ISIL to Afghanistan and the related security measures taken by Pakistan, the Spokesman said Pakistan had devised a policy and did not allow its nationals to take part in conflicts outside the country as non-state actors.
He said ISIL had nothing to do with Islam by any means and the word Islam was its misnomer. For this reason, he said, he would call it Daesh instead of ISIL.
When asked about detention of Pakistani defence analyst Zaid Hamid in Saudi Arabia, the Spokesman said the Pakistan embassy in Riyadh had taken a number of steps including arranging a telephonic conversation of Zaid Hamid with wife on June 23 and their meeting on June 30.
He said requests had been made to Saudi government for consular access to Zaid Hamid and for information on any sentence given to him.
On update on BBC report claiming Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) receiving funding from Indian authorities, the Spokesman said the Pakistan government was in touch with the British authorities and a response was awaited.