No bilateral meet or pull aside between Doval, Aziz: MEA

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz and national security advisor Ajit Doval had a short interaction on Saturday night, but the external affairs ministry has said there was no “bilateral meeting or pull aside” between the two.
National security advisor Ajit Doval.(HT File Photo)
National security advisor Ajit Doval.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Dec 05, 2016 04:18 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent, Amritsar

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz and national security advisor Ajit Doval had a short interaction on Saturday night, but the external affairs ministry has said there was no “bilateral meeting or pull aside” between the two.

Aziz and Doval had an informal chat after foreign ministers of five countries, including Pakistan, Iran and Slovenia, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday night in a huddle, preceding an official dinner attended by representatives of all countries participating in the Heart of Asia (HoA) conference.

While Indian sources said Aziz and Doval “had a stroll for about 100 feet or so” at the venue of the dinner, Pakistani officials maintained that they had a “meeting”. However, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said: “I have been receiving several queries throughout the day on whether there was a meeting between NSA and Sartaj Aziz. This is to categorically state that there was no pull aside or bilateral meeting between the two.”

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Aziz had held a meeting during last year’s HoA meet in Islamabad, during which both countries had agreed to start ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ to cover outstanding issues.

However, the resumption of the dialogue not take place due to the Pathankot attack in January and subsequent terror strikes involving Pakistan-based terrorists.

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