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Rediff.com  » News » India reaches out to Lanka, to host PM Wickremsinghe on 3-day visit

India reaches out to Lanka, to host PM Wickremsinghe on 3-day visit

October 04, 2016 08:19 IST

The meeting comes as India continues its attempts to isolate Pakistan in the South Asian region after the attack on its army camp in Uri.

India, in its effort to reach out to its South Asian neighbours except Pakistan, will be hosting Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe this week. Wickremsinghe will arrive on Tuesday on a three-day visit.

Colombo, apart from three other members countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, had also pulled out of the Islamabad Summit of the regional grouping to show solidarity with India.

Wickremsinghe will be leading a delegation for the Indian Economic Summit. During his visit, Wickremsinghe is slated to meet President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Surface Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari.

While mortar shelling across the Line of Control continued on Monday, government sources confirmed that the National Security Advisor, Ajit Kumar Doval, had a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Janjua. It is a development being seen as an effort to deescalate the tensions between the two neighbours.

In Islamabad, Sartaj Aziz, the advisor on foreign affairs to the Pakistani PM, confirmed to the media that contact was established between the two NSAs. Aziz said the two sides agreed to reduce tensions. Militants attacked two adjoining camps of the Army and Border Security Force late Sunday evening in Baramulla. A BSF personnel was killed in the attack. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on a visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said in Srinagar that security forces were giving a “befitting reply” to such attempts by Pakistan-based terrorist groups. The home minister is on a two-day visit to Leh and Kargil.

In Islamabad, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday chaired a special meeting of all parliamentary leaders to brief them on the situation on the LoC. The meeting comes in the wake of India’s ‘surgical strikes’ across LoC on terrorist launch pads last week. Opposition parties said they were with the government on meeting any challenge from India and called for forging national unity at the current critical juncture. They said India cannot unilaterally revoke the Indus Water Treaty.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Ambassador to New Delhi Alexander M Kadakin, on Monday defended India’s ‘surgical strikes’ across the LoC.

“Greatest human rights violations take place when terrorists attack military installations and attack peaceful civilians in India. We welcome the surgical strike. Every country has right to defend itself,” Kadakin told a news channel. He said India does not need to worry about Russia-Pakistan joint military exercise, the exercise did not take place in “Pakistan-occupied Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”. 

-- With inputs from Agencies

Image: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe is slated to meet President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Surface Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari during his visit to India. 

Archis Mohan
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