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Too early to speculate on timing of India visit: Sartaj Aziz

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Islamabad: Amid escalating tensions at the Indo-Pak border, Pakistan’s national security advisor Sartaj Aziz has said it is “too early” to speculate on the timing of his visit to New Delhi to hold talks with his Indian counterpart as agreed at Ufa.

Aziz also said that he did not not want to “vitiate the atmosphere” by commenting on India’s strong reaction to the firing incidents at the border.

“It is too early to speculate on my visit’s timing,” Aziz told the News International of his planned visit to India to hold talks with India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

In their first bilateral talks in over a year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif had met in Ufa on the sidelines of the SCO summit earlier this month and decided that Doval and Aziz will meet in New Delhi either next month or in September to discuss “all issues connected to terrorism”.

Aziz declined to comment on Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s statement yesterday, warning Pakistan of “effective and forceful” response to unprovoked firing and cross-border terrorism.

“I don’t want to vitiate the atmosphere by reacting to the statement that I have already seen,” the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs said.

Aziz termed it as “mischief” to suggest that tension was cropping up between the two countries and that could fizzle out his plan to visit New Delhi.

He claimed that Pakistan was out to reduce the tension.

Asked about India’s rejection of Pakistan’s allegation that an Indian spy drone entered its air space in violation of international law, Aziz said the army would be in a better position to offer comments about it since the earlier information was also provided by it.

The paper quoted sources as saying that the meeting of two National Security Advisers would not be possible this month.

India is to suggest the schedule of the visit of Pakistan NSA and it is unlikely that it would come up with any schedule any sooner as it has not talked to the Pakistan mission in New Delhi as yet, the daily said.

There have been a series of ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan which has resorted to mortar shelling of Indian areas over the past two days.

India has responded in kind and both sides have said they had suffered casualties.

Pakistan has also claimed to have downed a “spy drone” belonging to Indian security forces. India has rubbished the allegations, saying the drone appeared to be of Chinese design and is commercially available off the shelf.

 

–PTI