POKHARA (Nepal): India and Pakistan signalled easing of tensions with the two sides announcing that the Pakistan Joint Investigation Team (JIT)probing the Pathankot attack would come to India on March 27. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced that the Pakistan probe team will arrive in India, after holding a bilateral discussion with her Pakistan counterpart Sartaj Aziz on the sidelines of the SAARC Council of Ministers meet in Pokhara on March 17.
Pakistan’s foreign affairs advisor Mr Aziz expressed hope that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif will meet in the US on March 31 on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit. “It is not possible that Pathankot be not discussed in my meeting with Sartaj Aziz…the date for JIT visit has been decided. It will arrive on (March) 27th night and will begin their work on March 28,” Mrs Swaraj said. She addressed the media along with Mr Aziz after the two leaders held talks on the sidelines of the SAARC ministerial meeting.
As Pakistan’s foreign affairs advisor to PM Sharif, Mr Aziz on his part expressed satisfaction over the way the Pathankot incident was handled on both sides. “Not sure whether there will be a structured dialogue but hopeful that they will meet,” Mr Aziz said.
In a formal invitation which Mr Aziz handed over to Mrs Swaraj, Pakistan invited Mr Modi for the SAARC summit in Pakistan on November 9 and 10. Accepting the invitation on behalf of Mr Modi, Mrs Swaraj thanked Mr Sharif and Mr Aziz for it.
A scheduled meeting between Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India in January was postponed after the Pathankot attack on January 2. India had blamed Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad for the attacks. The meeting between Mrs Swaraj and Mr Aziz laid the ground for the likely meeting between Mr Modi and Mr Sharif in Washington.
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