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Pak govt holding internal parleys on formulating India policy

By Sajjad Hussain
May 19, 2014 16:29 IST
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Pakistan government is holding internal discussions on formulating a policy to deal with the new Indian government under Narendra Modi.

Officials said a key meeting is expected to be held at the Foreign Ministry tomorrow to discuss the issue. Representatives of army, air force and navy will also attend the meeting which will be chaired by Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz.

High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit has been called for first-hand inputs on the matter and he may be in Islamabad on Tuesday, an official said.

Basit has quietly been in touch with the BJP to convey Islamabad's willingness for 'meaningful engagement' with the new government, Express Tribune daily reported.

The BJP leadership was informed that the current government in Pakistan was following a policy of "economic development and peaceful neighbourhood," a source familiar with the development was quoted as saying by the daily.

Given its policy, the administration in Islamabad wants to engage with the BJP government in meaningful and result-oriented dialogue, the source said.

As election results were out on Friday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had promptly telephoned Modi to congratulate him on his victory.

The government will also consult with senior diplomats and key envoys of the country to give their inputs for a policy on trade, political and defence relations with the new Indian government, officials said.

Those approached for comments include former foreign secretary and ambassador to Washington Jalil Abbas Jilani, who has also served in India, Ambassador to Russia Zaheer Janjua, permanent representative to New York Masood Khan, representative to Geneva Zamir Akram, Ambassador to China Masood Khalid, Ambassador to Iran Noor Muhammad Jadmani and Ambassador to EU headquarters in Brussels Naghmana Hashmi.

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Sajjad Hussain
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