Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif said his country desired peace with India but without any compromise on its dignity, speaking after his brief meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a climate change summit in Paris on Monday.
The meeting was the first between the two leaders after July when they met in the Russia’s Ufa and agreed that their National Security Advisers would hold talks. The meeting, however, did not take place after the Pakistan high commission in India insisted on inviting Kashmiri separatist leaders for a reception in honour of the Pakistan NSA, Sartaj Aziz.
“If we really keep positive sentiments for one another, we must take practical steps towards their fulfillment,” Sharif was quoted by Geo TV as saying on Monday after his meeting with Modi. “We want to make progress and improve both internal and external matters,” he said, adding that all states should adopt the path of dialogue for resolution of issues.
After meeting Modi, Sharif told the Pakistani media that his country attached highest significance to its principled stance. “Pakistan desires better bilateral relations with India,” he said.
On Saturday, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Valletta, Malta, Sharif told British PM David Cameron during a bilateral meeting that Islamabad was ready for unconditional talks with New Delhi.
The Paris meeting again sparked hopes of renewal of the dialogue process between the two sides.
Monday’s meeting also comes at a time when the Indian cricket board is awaiting permission from the government to hold a bilateral cricket series with Pakistan at the neutral venue of Sri Lanka tentatively scheduled for mid-December.
Sharif has already given his permission to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the series.
(With inputs from agencies)