In what is described as a breakthrough between Pakistan-India relations, the resumption of a “Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue” has been announced by the two countries in the aftermath of a visit by Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who was in Pakistan for the Heart of Asia ministerial conference.

During her visit Swaraj met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz.

Swaraj announced the resumption of bilateral relations between the two countries after a two-year stalemate on issues of national security. Swaraj said the resumed talks will center on issues of peace and security, Jammu and Kashmire, Sir Creek, narcotics control humanitarian issues, commercial cooperation, religious terrorism among others.

The foreign secretaries of the two countries will schedule further consultations on how best to meet and decide on the more operational specifics for this dialogue. However, what has been decided already is that talks on terrorism will be handled by national security advisers of both countries.

Swaraj’s visit was the result of a successful meeting at the level of national security advisers in Bangkok, which in turn came after a brief but cordial meeting between Prime Ministers Sharif and Modi during last month’s COP 21 summit in Paris. 

The meeting in Paris is generally seen as the latest move on the part of PM Sharif to normalize relations with our Indian neighbors which began with his visit to Delhi to attend the inauguration of Indian Prime Minister Modi.

The Heart of Asia conference

Speaking at the Heart of Asia conference Minister Swaraj called for collective regional measures to combat terrorism and sought India’s inclusion in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement.