Amid speculation about a possible meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Kathmandu, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said that Islamabad desires peace with New Delhi and underlined that the two neighbours can resolve their disputes through dialogue and negotiations.
“Pakistan desires peace with India but its desire should not be taken as its weakness,” Asif said in Islamabad. Mr Asif stressed that soon after assuming office, Mr Sharif had expressed his desire for peace with India and has repeated his intention to build bridges with India many a time in the last few months. “This desire has been misconceived by the other side,” he said.
n Kathmandu, speculation continued to swirl about a meeting between Mr Modi and Mr Sharif on the sidelines of the SAARC summit, with both sides maintaining studied ambivalence on the issue. Both Mr Modi and Mr Sharif arrived in Kathmandu November 25 for the 18th SAARC summit, but there is no indication yet whether they will meet to defrost tensions and map the way forward for the troubled India-Pakistan relations that have plunged to a new look following unrelenting firing by border troops and Pakistan’s determined diplomatic offensive to internationalise the Kashmir issue.