India’s home minister will travel to Pakistan next week for a one-day regional meeting, New Delhi said Thursday, as tensions flare between the rivals over unrest in held Kashmir.
Rajnath Singh will attend a meeting of home ministers from countries belonging to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Islamabad but will not hold a one-on-one with his Pakistani counterpart, the Indian foreign ministry said.
It comes days after India lashed out at Pakistan, accusing its neighbour of fanning violent protests in Indian-held Kashmir that have claimed more than 50 lives this month.
“There is no such proposal (for a bilateral meeting),” foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said in New Delhi.
“We want a peaceful, co-operative relation with Pakistan. We are prepared to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan but in an atmosphere free of terror and violence,” he said, without specifying which issues would be raised in the August 4 meeting.
The SAARC group includes India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
In a surprise move last December, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif with a view to restarting a stalled dialogue. -AFP