Islamabad : Setting the tone for their structured talks on Wednesday, Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan on Tuesday expressed optimism and desire to improve ties which have been under strain in the past few months. Swaraj met her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz during a banquet hosted by him for the heads of delegates participating in a multilateral conference on Afghani-stan. Aziz greeted Swaraj warmly and both engaged in a brief conversation. Aziz later sat next to Swaraj. She will hold talks with Aziz and call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sha-rif on the sidelines of the conference on Wednesday.
After arriving here, Swaraj said the relationship between the two countries should be better and that she will hold talks with Pakistani leaders to find ways to improve bilateral ties. “I have come with the message that ties between the two countries should be good and move forward,” said Swaraj. Her visit comes after talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan in Bangkok on Sunday, where they discussed terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir and a range of key bilateral issues apart from agreeing to carry forward the “constructive” engagement.
Aziz said he was expecting a “good and positive” out-come from the meeting on Wednesday and both sides should take forward the engagement to improve ties. The fifth ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, an annual gathering of Asian and other countries, is aimed at enhancing cooperation for countering security threats and promoting connectivity in the region. High-ranking delegations from 14 participating states, 17 supporting countries and 12 international and regional organisations are participating in the two-day conference.
Cricket series from Dec 24?
Karachi: The short bilateral cricket series between India and Pakistan will be held between December 24 and January 5, if the much-anticipated rubber gets the green signal. According to a reliable source in the Pakistan Cricket Board, the tentative dates discussed for the series will include three ODIs and two Twenty20 matches. “The series will be played probably in Sri Lanka in such a manner that both the teams leave for their tours of New Zealand and Australia straight from Colombo,” the source said.
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