Pak wants meaningful dialogue with India: Sharif tells Rice

Last Updated 30 August 2015, 11:47 IST

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today told US National Security Advisor Susan Rice that Pakistan wants a "meaningful" and "objective" dialogue with India on all outstanding issues, amid reports that she is here on an "emergency visit" in the wake of Indo-Pak border tensions.

In his meeting with Rice, Sharif, while talking about ties with India, informed the US delegation the reasons behind the cancellation of talks between NSAs of India and Pakistan, Dawn News reported.

Sharif said Pakistan wants to hold a "meaningful" and "objective" dialogue on all outstanding issues with New Delhi.

Rice arrived in Pakistan on a day-long visit to exchange views on various matters and prepare agenda for Sharif's visit to the US in October.

A statement by Sharif's office, that made no direct reference to his comments on ties with India, said the meeting "focused on matters of bilateral interest and the future of Pakistan-US relations."

"The situation in the region also came under discussion," it said without giving details.
Media reports have said the US National Security Advisor is here on an "emergency visit" as part of the American effort to reduce the ongoing tension between the two neighbours.

Her visit coincides with an escalation in tension between Pakistan and India along the Line of Control (LoC). There have been 55 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in August, and more than 245 during the year so far.

Also, Pakistan called off the scheduled NSA-level talks between the two countries at the last minute over India's refusal to allow Islamabad to have consultations with Kashmiri separatists.

The White House has, however, asserted that Rice's visit was planned in advance and this was not emergency visit due the increasing tension.

During the meeting today, Sharif said the US is an important partner of Pakistan in all areas especially economy, defence and counter-terrorism.

He said Pakistan sees its ties with the US as a partnership which is in the interest of the two countries, the region and the world.

Sharif said he was looking forward to his US visit in October as an opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties.

(Published 30 August 2015, 11:40 IST)

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