All Issues Including Kashmir Will Be Discussed With Indian Foreign Secretary: Nawaz Sharif

14 February 2015

Lahore: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today said Pakistan would welcome the visit of India's Foreign Secretary to the country during which 'all issues, including Kashmir' will be discussed. 'We will welcome the visit of Indian foreign secretary here as Pakistan wants peaceful relations with its neighbours,' the premier said in reply to a question during a meeting with the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) here. 'If Indian foreign secretary arrives here Pakistan will talk on all issues, including Kashmir,' Sharif said. New Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar's visit was announced after Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday called his Pakistani counterpart Sharif and other heads of the SAARC nations participating in the ICC Cricket World Cup and conveyed best wishes for the showpiece event. The cricket diplomacy was considered as ice-breaking after a six-month hiatus in Indo-Pak ties. India broke off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan in August at the eleventh hour because the Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi held consultations with Kashmiri separatists. Prime Minister Modi announced that Jaishankar will undertake a 'SAARC yatra' soon to strengthen relationship with the countries, including Pakistan. Significantly, Modi's telephonic call to Sharif today came hours after US President Barack Obama spoke with the Pakistani Prime Minister. Addressing the CPNE, Sharif also asserted that he believed in a free and independent media and judiciary but it was crucial for the media to hold itself accountable. He also said that the military operation against militants in North Waziristan will continue until the area is cleared of terrorists.