NEW DELHI: Pakistani officials claim that India approached Pakistan, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Nations General Assembly last month, to hold a meeting of National Security Advisors in New York, but changed its mind when Islamabad asked for a meeting of foreign ministers to take place at the same time.
According to Pakistani diplomatic sources, India had asked Pakistan about the possiblity of an NSA-level dialogue on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York.
“Since our NSA and foreign minister are the same person, we suggested that there should also be a meeting of foreign ministers at the same time. There was no response from India,” said a Pakistani official. Asked whether India had sought such a meeting, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup asserted that India’s position had always been that the “sequencing” of the dialogue between the two neighbours should be based on the understanding reached between the two PMs at Ufa.
“Where is the question of having a meeting between the foreign ministers when it was never a part of the Ufa agenda?” wondered Swarup. India’s alleged feelers to Pakistan came after Islamabad cancelled the NSA-level dialogue in August because India wanted to focus only on terrorism, while Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Sartaz Aziz wanted all issues, including Kashmir, on the table.