Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met United States National Security Adviser (NSA) H R McMaster in Delhi, a report said. The meeting is underway in PM Modi’s official residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Indian NSA Ajit Doval also present. Apart from this, he is expected to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. This comes after there were some reports that President Donald Trump could play the role of a mediator between India and Pakistan. According to a report, describing India as a ‘true friend’ of the US, President Trump had invited PM Modi to visit the country later this year, the White House had said.
McMaster yesterday held talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan NSA Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi.
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During McMaster’s call on, Sharif, while talking about Indo-Pak ties, reiterated his “firm conviction” to sustained dialogue and meaningful engagement as the only way forward to resolve all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute, a Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement said. Sharif welcomed President Trump’s willingness to help India and Pakistan resolve their differences particularly on Kashmir and noted that this could go a long way in bringing sustainable peace, security and prosperity to the region, the statement said.
The Pakistan Prime Minister reaffirmed his commitment to a peaceful neighbourhood and apprised the US NSA of the steps taken by Pakistan to reach out to both India and Afghanistan, the statement said. Sharing his concerns over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the continuing impasse, Sharif conveyed Pakistan’s readiness to work with the international community to explore ways in which the Afghan crisis can be resolved, it said.
McMaster’s visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan comes just days after the US dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb targeting an Islamic State complex in Afghanistan, close to the border with Pakistan. This was McMaster’s first visit to Pakistan as the US NSA and the first formal high-level exchange between the US and Pakistan under the new Donald Trump Administration.
McMaster’s visit was a part of regional consultations that included a stop in Kabul on Sunday. The visiting delegation included US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale, Acting US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Laurel Miller, Senior Director for South Asia Lisa Curtis and Director Pakistan in the National Security Council Jay Wise.
(With agency inputs)