0549 GMT March 22, 2019
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had written to his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, suggesting their foreign ministers meet in New York to try to break an impasse in ties, according to Reuters.com.
With Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party gearing for elections by the middle of next year, prospects of a rapprochement are low. The BJP has long advocated a tough stance toward Pakistan.
The Modi government has insisted that Pakistan act against anti-India Islamist militant groups that operate from its soil before it can resume peace talks to resolve long standing differences over the Himalayan region of Kashmir and other disputes.
Pakistan denies aiding and abetting attacks in India including in Kashmir and says it is fighting militant groups for its own security.
Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said New Delhi had agreed to a meeting between Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
He sought to play down hopes of a full resumption in talks between the neighbors that have been in deep chill ever since coordinated attacks in Mumbai in 2008 in which 166 people were killed by Pakistan-based militants.
“This is just a meeting, too much should not be read into the proposed meeting,” Kumar said. “This is not a resumption of dialogue. They asked for a meeting, we said yes.”