Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be invited to Pakistan for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit, said Pakistan’s Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal.
Addressing a conference in Islamabad, Faisal recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first address had said that if India took one step forward, Pakistan would take two.
The last summit of the leaders of the eight SAARC countries was convened in Kathmandu in late 2014. Recalling Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks that if India took one step forward, Pakistan would take two, Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal pitched for dialogue with New Delhi to solve all contentious issues.
“We fought a war with India, relations cannot be fixed quickly,” Faisal said. So far, India’s refusal to engage Pakistan unless Islamabad addressed its concerns on cross-border terrorism has remained a sticky issue for holding the 19th SAARC summit.
Pointing to the attack, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has refused to visit Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of a long-awaited corridor to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sabhib, one of the holiest Sikh shrines. Yesterday, Mr Singh lashed out at Pakistan army chief Qamar Bajwa over the attacks, questioning his army credentials and accusing him of cowardice.
Ms Swaraj said she would also skip the event, citing party-related work ahead of assembly elections in five states. India will be represented by Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri.
Yesterday, on the tenth anniversary of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, in which 166 people died, India hit out at Pakistan for allowing the people responsible – including Lashkar-e Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed — to roam free.
“The planners of 26/11 still roam the streets of Pakistan with impunity. The 26/11 terrorist attack was planned, executed and launched from Pakistan territory. We once again call on the Government of Pakistan to give up double standards and to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of the horrific attack to justice,” the foreign ministry had said in a statement.