EAM Jaishankar Likely To Meet Pakistan's Bilawal Bhutto This Week On Sidelines Of SCO Summit

This will be the first meeting with between top ministers of New Delhi and Islamabad since the coalition government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came to power in Pakistan.

By Aalok Sensharma
Updated: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 09:49 AM IST
Minute Read
EAM Jaishankar Likely To Meet Pakistan's Bilawal Bhutto This Week On Sidelines Of SCO Summit
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar/ Photo: ANI

External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar will meet his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto in Uzbekistan this week on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Foreign Ministers meeting that will be held on July 28 and July 29.

This will be the first meeting with between top ministers of New Delhi and Islamabad since the coalition government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came to power in Pakistan.

After assuming office, Bilawal had said he wants a re-engagement with India. However, as of now, there is no indication that the two leaders will hold a bilateral meeting with each other.

The talks, if held, will likely focus on Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism. Recently, Jaishankar had also stressed that India and Pakistan need to get along, but with a warning.

"The issue is not coming to the table, the issue is in what manner are you coming to the table. You are invited to this meeting, you came happily in your best clothes," he said while speaking at the CNN News18 Town Hall.

"I could also have gone to your house, put a gun to your head and brought you to this table. My problem is if a neighbour says I am going to do cross-border terrorism and that will bring you to the table, then I have a problem coming to the table," he added.

Tensions between India and Pakistan kept rising till Imran Khan was the latter's Prime Minister. Khan, 69, was particularly critical of India's decision to revoke Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the erstwhile state into two union territories (UTs) - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Khan, who lost the power recently, also tried multiple times to raise the Jammu and Kashmir issue globally. However, India always slammed Khan for his move, saying Pakistan has no locus standi on the UT.

"The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were, are and will always remain an integral and inalienable part of India. This includes the areas that are under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. No amount of rhetoric and propaganda from any country can deny this fact," India said at the United Nations (UN) in May.

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