Nepal to push for Pak-India talks at Saarc summit, says FM

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KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey on Monday said the he will push for Pakistan-India talks on the sidelines of the Saarc summit which starts on November 26, the Economic Times reported.

“We are trying to crack the nut,” Pandey said in a television interview when asked about breaking the deadlock between Pakistan and India.

Though official talks between the two regional rivals are still uncertain, Nepal is likely to push Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to one table during the retreat organised at Dhulikhel, a hill station near Kathmandu.

“SAARC has one very unique practice since its inception. The retreat among the heads of the state and government during the summit provides a platform to hold multilateral and bilateral talks. The talks are going to be held in a very free and frank manner to end mutual suspicion,” Pandey had said on Friday during a press briefing.

“We are trying to organise bilateral talks between India and Pakistan during the summit so that it can set an example,” Nepal’s foreign minister said.

Apart from visiting heads of the state and government, foreign ministers, and foreign secretaries will also be the part of retreat.

Nepal formally extended an invitation to PM Nawaz Sharif in October to attend the Saarc summit.

The invitation was delivered by Mahendra Bahadur Panday when he met the prime minister during an official visit.

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