इंडियन आवाज़     21 Feb 2024 11:23:29      انڈین آواز

India, Pakistan to start comprehensive bilateral dialogue: Swaraj


sushma nawazIndia and Pakistan have decided to start a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue. This was announced by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at a press conference in Islamabad this evening after her talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz.

Mrs Swaraj said it will have additional component apart from those in the Composite Dialogue. She said Foreign Secretaries of both the countries will meet soon to work out the scheduling of the dialogue process.

According to a joint statement issued after the talks, Pakistan assured the Indian side of the steps taken to expedite the early conclusion of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks trial.

The two countries condemned terrorism and resolved to cooperate to eliminate it.

Earlier today Sushma Swaraj said that it was a collective duty of all nations to ensure that terrorism and extremism did not find sanctuaries and safe havens in any name, form or manifestation. Addressing the Heart of Asia (HoA) Istanbul Process Ministerial conference in Islamabad today, she said that in the last few months, terrorism in Afghanistan has grown in both intensity and scope.

Mrs Swaraj said, the Afghan forces and the country’s people need the continued support of the international community, and India is ready to work with Kabul to strengthen its defence capability.

Mrs Swaraj also said, it is time for India and Pakistan to display the maturity and self confidence to do business with each other and strengthen regional trade and co-operation. She said, India is prepared to move the co-operation at a pace which Pakistan is comfortable with. She said, the entire world is waiting and rooting for a change.

The External Affairs Minister said, India’s vision of the Heart of Asia Conference was one of interlinked trade, transit, energy and communication routes, with Afghanistan as an important hub. Mrs. Swaraj also said, India was willing to receive Afghan trucks at Attari, and join the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement. She said, India was working with Afghanistan and Iran to develop trilateral transit through development of the Chahbahar Port.
Mrs Swaraj finished her address by inviting the delegates to the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Heart of Asia which will be held in India next year.

Heart of Asia’ conference was today jointly inaugurated by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Islamabad. Nawaz Sharif called for a collective approach to combat terrorism.

The Pakistan Prime Minister welcomed the delegates and promised full support to all efforts for increasing peace in the region with the emphasis on stabilizing Afghanistan. The conference is being attended by Foreign Ministers of several countries including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. It aims at intensifying efforts for regional linkages and to promote peace and stability in war-torn Afghanistan.

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