Modi Likely to Address Pakistan From Srinagar

SRINAGAR:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a public rally in Srinagar amid hopes that he would break the ice with Pakistan.
Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has repeatedly said that adverse relations with Pakistan will negatively impact the political and developmental processes in the state.
Mr. Sayeed has been quoted in media as saying that the Srinagar rally was an opportunity for the Prime Minister to speak on diversity from country’s only Muslim majority state.
If sources are to be believed Prime Minister Modi will be addressing Pakistan from Srinagar like his predecessor Atal Behari Vajpayee after a long pause during which the relations between the two neighbours have soured.
The sudden toning down of Pakistani rhetoric on Kashmir too has lend credence to speculation here that Indian premier will convey message to Pakistan  on November 7 from Srinagar.
On Tuesday Special Assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi said Islamabad was ready to hold dialogue with India on all outstanding issues.
“It is a reality that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif desires cordial relations with India,” Fatemi said while addressing a seminar on ‘Pakistan India Relations – Emerging Relatives’ in Karachi.
Fatemi recalled that it was the premier who took the initiative to hold talks with India. Also speaking on the occasion, former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri said that he has “not lost faith in the common sense of the people on both the sides and things will hopefully move in a positive direction.”
Kasuri pointed out how crucial it is for India to seek peace with its neighbours, especially Pakistan, if it wishes to play the role of a global leader. “If Modi wishes to be successful, he needs to sit on the table with Pakistan,” he said.
Further, he lauded the efforts of PM Nawaz for taking initiative to hold composite dialogue with India.
In August this year, efforts to normalise relations between Pakistan and India took a blow when the scheduled talks between the national security advisers (NSAs) of the two neighbours were called off just hours before Sartaj Aziz was set to fly to New Delhi. Prior to cancellation of talks, at a news conference in New Delhi, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said Aziz was welcome in the Indian capital only if Pakistan assured India by midnight that the planned NSA meeting would focus only on terrorism-related issues and that Aziz would not meet Hurriyat leaders during his stay. However, Pakistan said the country was ready for talks with India but will not accept any preconditions.
Significantly this time around the death of two Indian soldiers in ‘unprovoked’ Pakistani firing on LOC in Kashmir has not elicited any harsh reaction from India.

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