NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan will discuss ways to improve relations and to take it forward, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said upon her arrival in Islamabad on Tuesday evening, the highest-level State visit from the 18-month-old Narendra Modi government.
Swaraj arrived by a special flight on a chilly evening, accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, where she was greeted by Indian Ambassador to Pakistan TCA Raghavan and officials from the Pakistan Foreign Office.
“Heart of Asia multilateral summit is very important to India, as it relates to Afghanistan. That’s why, I have to come here to participate,” she told reporters at the arrival lounge on Tuesday. “Since this is being held in Pakistan, it is appropriate and natural that I meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and my counterpart Sartaj Aziz… There will be discussion on how to improve relations between the two nations and take it forward,” she said.
Swaraj was greeted warmly by Aziz at the dinner for summit delegates. While Aziz had said that matters related to resumption of composite dialogue would be discussed, Indian side has been more circumspect.
Official sources said India’s position remained the same — India would be ready to start composite dialogue, but only in an atmosphere free of terror.