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Indo-Pak relations ‘core issue’ in Sharif-Obama talks: Aziz

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Karachi, Oct 18 : Pakistan’s Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, has said that India-Pakistan relations will be one of the core issues to be discussed between Nawaz Sharif and US President Barack Obama.

According to The Dawn, restoration of peace in Afghanistan and trade and investment opportunities will also be the key issues to be discussed between the US and Pakistani leadership, Aziz said.

Aziz urged the US to refrain from fanning instability in South Asia. He added that the US can maintain any sort of relations it wishes to with India, but it should not increase strategic and conventional imbalance in the region at a time when Pak-India relations are tense.

The NSA’s statement came following reports that US was ready to assist Pakistan join the Nuclear Suppliers Group if the latter accepted some restrictions on its nuclear programme.

In addition, a US report said on Thursday that American intelligence officials were gathering information on a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz that was bombed in a US airstrike on October 3 because they believed it was being used by a Pakistani operative to coordinate Taliban activity.

Aziz rejected claims that the recent allegations regarding the Pakistani operative would affect the talks between Sharif and Obama.

Aziz further said that the purpose of Sharif’s visit to the White House next week would not be to reach an agreement on Pakistan’s defence capabilities but to discuss nuclear safety.

He expressed hope that both India and Pakistan would be accepted as members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and added that efforts were under way to make Pakistan a member of NSG. (ANI)