Modi to attend SAARC summit in Islamabad

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, has said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad this year.

In an interview with a news channel on Sunday, Tariq Fatemi said that being a host country, Pakistan would work out specific convenient dates for holding the event in consultation with other SAARC members. However, he admitted that it could probably be held in November this year. He said as per norms, a formal invitation would be hand-carried to the Indian Prime Minister.

About prospects for meetings between the delegations, including foreign secretaries during the summit, the SAPM said that under one roof intensive and constant meetings were expected. Commenting on the Pathankot attack, Fatemi said that the world acknowledged Pakistan’s firm stance on terrorism and commended its attitude and policy. He said the Islamabad Declaration between Pakistan and India still held ground.

He said a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) would complete its probe into the Pathankot incident this week whereas a Special Investigation Team would also visit India.

About the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, he said that Pakistan and China had the supportive roles and wanted an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process to proceed.

He said for holding Kabul-Taliban direct talks, they were exerting ‘very limited influence’ to convince Taliban.

“We have been making it clear for both sides that there is no other option except reconciliation,” he said. To another query about the Pakistan-US sixth Strategic Dialogue, Fatemi said both the countries would discuss key areas of cooperation at the ministerial-level dialogue on Monday.

Source: INP