Update August 13, 2015

Dhaka 3-49 am, 26-February, 2021

Pakistan’s top diplomat to visit India

Sumel Sarker

Advisor to Pakistan's Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz listens to a question during a news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

Pakistan’s top diplomat to visit India

13 August 2015, Nirapad News: Pakistan’s top diplomat said Thursday he would visit India later this month on an “ice breaking” tour as violence simmers in the disputed Kashmir territory.

“I can briefly confirm that I will be going to India on August 23 for talks,” Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told a joint press conference with visiting Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif in Islamabad.

There has been a rise in cross-border shelling along the de facto border separating the two halves of Kashmir in recent weeks.

On Thursday a grenade exploded outside a mosque in Indian Kashmir, injuring 10 worshippers after morning prayers in the first such incident in 14 years,local police said.

India has also ordered increased security in the wake of a deadly militant attack in its northern Punjab state in July that left ten dead.

After months of stalemate and recriminations, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif spoke for around an hour while visiting Russia in July, recognising their “collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development”.

Modi also accepted an invitation from Sharif to visit Pakistan next year,raising hopes of an improvement in perennially difficult relations.

Aziz said his visit was “not a breakthrough in terms of composite dialogue and all the issues but at least it is an ice breaking on some issues.. and let’s hope it will lead to further more comprehensive dialogue on the other issues between the two countries”.

He added that two prime ministers had agreed to the step during their meeting in Russia.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since the partition of the subcontinent in the wake of independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.

Since 1989 several rebel groups have waged campaigns against the hundreds of thousands of Indian forces deployed in Kashmir, hoping to achieve independence or the territory’s merger with Pakistan.

They agreed on a border ceasefire in 2003, which has largely held, though violations are regularly reported from both sides.

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