India non-committal on Modi-Sharif meeting on SAARC sidelines

India non-committal on Modi-Sharif meeting on SAARC sidelines

India today remained non-committal on having a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines on the SAARC summit in Nepal later this month.

When asked about the possibility, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the SAARC summit was nearly two weeks away and it was a very long time from the perspective of Indo-Pak relations.

"That meeting (SAARC) is approximately 15 days away. As they say in politics a week is a long time ... In India- Pakistan relations two weeks is a very very long time," he said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had yesterday said that there cannot be a dialogue with Islamabad if ceasefire violations are repeated.

At the same time, he said India will welcome dialogue but the environment for dialogue has to be created by both the countries.

Apparently referring to Jaitley's comments, the Spokesperson said India remains committed to paving a "path".

"At this stage, all I can share with you is that we remain committed to paving a path. But for that path to be paved you have to have a situation that will promote the path to be paved. We have not reached that stage as yet," he said.

India had called off the Foreign Secretary-level talks after the Pakistan envoy here met Kashmiri separatists.

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