Responding to request of Imran Khan, Sushma Swaraj to meet Pak foreign minister; MEA highlights meet is not resumption of dialogue

New Delhi: Responding positively to the request of Pakistani government-led by newly made Prime Minister Imran Khan’s letter, New Delhi on Thursday announced that India has agreed to a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi making it very clear that it was not the resumption of the Indo-Pak dialogue.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “I can confirm that on the request of the Pakistani side, a meeting between EAM and Pakistani foreign minister will take place on the sidelines of UNGA at a mutually convenient date and time.”

Raveesh Kumar further highlighted that the meeting doesn’t signal a resumption of the bilateral dialogue. “This is just a meeting, not talks or resumption of dialogue, I want you to distinguish between a meeting and a dialogue,” he added.

Notably, the meeting between the ministers of two countries has been scheduled after Pakistan’s newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan proposed a meeting between the two ministers in a letter to Prime Minister Modi. The meeting will take place in New York on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly next week.

Earlier, Pakistan’s newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan has written a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged for a resumption of peace and for talks. In a letter, Imran Khan sought a meeting between India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) scheduled to be held starting September 25.

Importantly, this will be the first ministerial-level engagement of India with Pakistan under the new Imran Khan-led government. Interestingly, the last formal engagement between the Foreign Ministers took place in December 2015 in Islamabad, which was followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden visit to Lahore.

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