Sushma Swaraj meets Pakistan’s envoy in first high-level contact in months
NEW DELHI: Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj met Pakistan High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood in Delhi earlier this week after months of deadlock in diplomatic relations, Indian media reported.
According to the Times of India, Ms Swaraj apprised Mr. Mahmood about India’s concern on increasing incidents of cross-border terrorism.
This is the first meeting of high ranking Pakistan official with the Indian Minister of External Affairs after assuming office in Delhi. He is also expected to meet NSA Ajit Doval and foreign secretary S Jaishankar.
The Indian minister also reportedly expressed its unhappiness over increasing cases of ceasefire violations. A statement had stated, “Despite repeated calls for restraint and call to adhere to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 for maintaining peace and tranquility, Pakistan forces have carried out 301 incidents of unprovoked ceasefire violations along the LoC this year so far.”
Pakistan has categorically rejected the Indian claims of ceasefire violations.
The Indian government, according to TOI report, believes that for any progress in bilateral relations Pakistan must drop all charges against spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and send him back to India. Jadhav’s case is currently being heard by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which earlier this year put a stay on the death sentence awarded to him by a Pakistan court.
The meet is expected to melt the ice between two countries after their recriminations in the United Nations.
Jadhav is an Indian spy suspect who was apprehended by Pakistani security agencies on March 24, 2016 from Balochistan. The suspect was said to be an ‘on-duty RAW agent’ working for the covert agency to destabilize Pakistan.
The operative has confessed to have orchestrated ‘anti-national and terrorist activities’ in Balochistan along with conspiring to fuel sectarian violence in Karachi.
Jadhav’s case at ICJ
Currently, the case of the Indian spy is being heard at the ICJ.
Jadhav was sentenced to death by a military court in Pakistan on April 10 over terror and espionage charges. On India’s request, the ICJ had temporarily stayed his execution on May 18.