India to go by Ufa statement, plays down remarks by Aziz

NEW DELHI: India will go by the joint statement issued after Ufa talks between Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif and remarks by Sartaz Aziz will not affect the road for engagement agreed to by the two leaders.

Playing down comments by Pakistan Prime Minister’s adviser on national security and foreign affairs on Monday, sources said Aziz did not say anything which affected the “actionable propositions” agreed upon during talks between Modi and Sharif in Ufa last week on the sidelines of the SCO summit and his remarks were ostensibly aimed at “domestic audience”.

They said India was looking forward for implementation of the decisions agreed upon in the meeting.

Describing the joint statement as a “considered, honest, accurate and reasonable summary of the substance” of the talks, the sources said for India what Islamabad tells is important and not what they say to the domestic audience.

It was Modi’s idea to have a joint media interaction by foreign secretaries of both the countries after the talks following which the two sides drafted the statement, the sources said.

Three days after talks between Modi and Sharif, Aziz had issued a statement on Monday in Islamabad in which he asked for “more evidence and information” from India on the Mumbai attack case and asserted that talks cannot take place without Kashmir being on the agenda.

Viewing that Aziz may have made the statement for the domestic audience, the source said it was a “kind of a mix and match exercise” as the comments included known Pakistani positions along with what Aziz claimed figured in talks between the two Prime Ministers at Ufa.

“The fact that he (Aziz) is offering additional comments obviously speaks of a certain situation there,” said a source.

They said one should not “pre-judge” possible outcome of a process which is yet to start.

Modi had raised the Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi issue as well as Mumbai attack trial case in the meeting, they said.

They said the joint statement was like a summary of what was actually said and agreed upon at the meeting and it was prepared with great rapidity, adding that it was signed by the Pakistani side.

The sources said India was looking forward to talks between NSAs and DGMOs of the two countries.

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