Pakistani envoy met Indian foreign minister: report

In the first high-level contact between the two countries in months, the newly-appointed Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood met Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj earlier this week, the Times of India reported.

Issues concerning “cross-border terrorism, including the Mumbai and Pathankot attacks, came under discussion during the meeting,” the newspaper quoted official sources as saying.

Swaraj pressed on the Pakistani envoy to review stance on alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav whose death sentence has been challenged by India in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The Indian government wants all charges against Jadhav to be dropped and him to be sent back to India for any progress in bilateral relations between the two neighbours, the report said.

Mahmood is also expected to meet Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Days after the meeting, on the occasion of Diwali, Swaraj announced medical visas for deserving Pakistanis whose applications had been pending with India.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office has yet to confirm or deny reports of the meeting.

Mahmood took charge as the Pakistani High Commissioner to India in August this year, after Abdul Basit retired from the position.

Relations between the two nuclear nations have been bitter for over a year now, with both trading barbs at the recent UN General Assembly meeting.

Sushma Swaraj recently termed Pakistan “the export factory of terror” while Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN Maleeha Lodhi called India the “mother of terrorism in South Asia” during sessions of the United Nations General Assembly.

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