Pakistan

Nisar, Rajnath likely to meet as Saarc conference kicks off today

NISAR FEATURED

ISLAMABAD: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) conference will start today in the federal capital on the sidelines of which the interior ministers of Pakistan and India are expected to meet amid rising tensions over Kashmir that killed over 50 civilians.

Interior ministers and other delegates of Saarc member states will attend the conference.

Indian Interior Minister Rajnath Singh will arrive in Islamabad tomorrow (Wednesday) to participate in the 3-day gathering.

Officials in the Indian government claim that Singh will not have a separate meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. However, if materialised, it will be the first meeting between the two.

Coming back to the Saarc conference, first and the second day of the international conference will witness additional secretaries and secretaries-level meeting sessions between the officials of member countries that besides Pakistan and India include, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.


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Interior minister-level talks will be held on August 4 following which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will address the ending session of the most important South-Asian meet.

The conference will aim at strengthening networking and enhancing information sharing among Saarc member countries. A previous meeting of Saarc interior ministers was held in Kathmandu in 2014.

Recently, unrest in the divided Kashmir created a stand-off between Pakistan and India as they both accused each other of triggering violence in the valley and claimed the territory in its entirely.

In the past too, attempts were planned to promote good relations between Pakistan and India but they were always upset by unpleasant incidents with a tendency to create rifts between the two neighbours.

Protests erupted in Indian-held Kashmir after security troops gunned down a young commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani, last month.

Pakistan has urged the United Nations and global platforms that work for human rights to take notice of the killings of innocent Kashmiri people at the hands of Indian troops.

Previously, the infamous Pathankot attack in India spoiled the efforts for normalising bilateral relations with Pakistan. During the incident, an armed group of assailants struck the Pathankot Air Force Station, part of the western air command of the Indian Air Force. Five attackers and six security forces personnel were killed.

India had also blamed Pakistan for organising Mumbai attacks in 2008 that left more than 166 people killed and over 300 wounded.

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