Terrorism should come to an end; Fatemi says Pak, India foreign secretaries to meet soon; India releases 32 Pak fishermen

Thursday, May 29, 2014
From Print Edition

NEW DELHI: India’s new External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday that India wanted to develop good and friendly relations with Pakistan and it was imperative that the scourge of terrorism should come to an end once and for all. She said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif if bomb blasts continued, peace talks between the two countries would be lost in the din.


A day after he was sworn in as India’s 15th Prime Minister, Modi met leaders of Saarc countries invited to his oath ceremony but it was the afternoon meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the Hyderabad House that was keenly watched.


“Talks and good relations can be successful and right only when terrorism is stopped. If bomb blasts continue, the talks will be useless. This is what Narendra Modi told Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” said Swaraj who took charge of her ministry on Wednesday.


She said India asked Pakistan to ensure speedy trial in the 26/11 terror case being held in Pakistan. “We also raised the topic of speedy trials of the 26/11 terror attack and even they said they would work on it,” she told reporters.She also said talks with the Saarc leaders were “successful” and that Modi wanted the Saarc to reach greater heights in the international arena.


“The prime minister told the leaders that they should leave the contentious bilateral issues to the parties concerned and come together,” the new minister said. “I would like to say that for the first time, the Saarc leaders felt that a government and a prime minister who thinks out of the box has assumed power in India,” she said.


She also said that as the external affairs minister her priority would be to showcase India’s strengths to the world and improve relations with neighbouring countries, strategic partners, Africa, Asean member countries, Europe and others.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister’s special assistant for foreign affairs Tariq Fatemi, while speaking at a seminar in Islamabad, said that the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India would meet soon to discuss bilateral issues. Fatemi, who was accompanying Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in his recent visit to India, said that the prime minister’s visit to India would help promote the bilateral trade. —INP


Online adds: Reciprocating Pakistan’s gesture, India on Wednesday released 32 Pakistani fishermen lodged in the Kutch district and they were already on their way to the Wagah border in Punjab to return to their country.


“These 32 fishermen from Pakistan have been in the Joint Interrogation Centre for almost six months. They were captured while fishing inside the Indian maritime boundary and kept in the Bhuj-based JIC. We have released them today. Our team has already left for the Wagah border with these fishermen,” Kutch-West Superintendent of Police Vidhi Chaudhari said.The 32 fishermen will be handed over to Pakistan authorities at the Wagah border.


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