Pak PM Abbasi to visit Nepal on March 5


Islamabad—In an unexpected move, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will travel to Kathmandu on Monday for a two-day visit to congratulate his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli on his appointment as the premier.

Abbasi will be first high-level foreign dignitary to visit Nepal to meet Oli since he assumed office on February 15, though the two sides are yet to release details of the trip.

Diplomats in Kathmandu said Abbasi will also discuss ways to take forward the stalled Saarc process during his meeting with Oli.

The 19th Saarc summit, which was to be held in Kathmandu in 2016, was put off after an attack on an Indian Army base in Uri that was blamed on Pakistan-based terrorists. India and several other Saarc members unilaterally pulled out of the meeting.

Though the summit has not been held since then, meetings of various Saarc mechanisms have been held with the participation of Indian and Pakistani representatives. Pakistan wants to use this positive environment to take forward the Saarc process, the diplomats said.

The last visit to Nepal by a Pakistani prime minister was in November 2014, when Nawaz Sharif attended the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit in Kathmandu.




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