Progress in Indo-Pak ties vital for South Asia: UN

RSTV Bureau

Modi-Sharif-2The United Nations has welcomed the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday said that positive development in relations between the two countries is important for them and as well as entire South Asian region.

“We are obviously very pleased that the dialogue took place. The positive development in India-Pakistan relations is important to both countries and to the sub-region as well,” Ban’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told when asked about the meeting between the two leaders.

The delegation-level bilateral talks between the two leaders were held on Friday at Ufa, Russia on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. In their first bilateral talks in over a year, India and Pakistan ties made a significant headway with both the leaders agreeing to revive the stalled dialogue process and quicken the Mumbai attack case trial.

Asked about Kashmir not being mentioned in the joint statement issued after the PM Modi-Sharif dialogue, Dujarric said it is not for the UN to dictate what the two leaders discuss.

“It is not for us to dictate what the prime ministers of India and Pakistan discuss,” he said.

PM Modi and PM Sharif had held their last bilateral meet in May last year when the Pakistan Prime Minister came to New Delhi to attend swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the relations between the two countries soon suffered a chill after India lodged a protest with Islamabad on the issue of Pakistan High Commissioner meeting the Kashmiri separatist leaders ahead of the Foreign Secretary level talks. The talks were subsequently cancelled.

Following the episode, the two leaders had met during the SAARC summit in Kathmandu in November last year but had merely exchanged pleasantries.

In the talks on Friday morning, the issue of terrorism remained the focus with both the leaders condemning terrorism in “all its forms” and agreed to cooperate with each other to eliminate the menace from South Asia.

(With inputs from the PTI)