Qureshi, Sushma to possibly meet in New York next month: report


WASHINGTON: Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and India, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Sushma Swaraj, may meet in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) annual meeting next month, reports in the local media have revealed.

A senior Pakistani diplomat has reportedly said that such a meeting is possible, however no decision has been taken as yet. Qureshi and Swaraj are both expected to attend the 73rd UNGA which opens on September 18 in New York.

Reports of a possible meeting between the two foreign ministers came from India days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan on his swearing-in.

While, the Pakistanis are reluctant to confirm their agenda for the 73rd UNGA because it is still undecided who will represent the country, India has already announced that it is sending Swaraj as Modi cannot leave the country in midst of an election campaign.

It was also reported that PM Khan may skip the UNGA as part of his efforts to cut down government expenses.

But since then a number of senior Pakistani diplomats and political commentators have urged Khan to reconsider his decision.

They argued that representing Pakistan at a forum like the UNGA was not a waste of funds, particularly when there’s a new government in Islamabad and the international community wanted to know its views on key issues like Kashmir and Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials, however, feel that the prime minister’s presence in New York will add a new dimension to an India-Pakistan meeting, even though he will not participate in minister-level talks.