Published On: Sat, Feb 14th, 2015

India’s Tip Diplomat to Visit Pakistan

India's Prime Minister Modi shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Sharif before the start of their bilateral meeting in New DelhiPrime Minister Narendra Modi is sending his top diplomat to Pakistan as part of a regional tour, the first top-ranking visit since Modi broke off talks last year over the disputed region of Kashmir. The sign of a thaw in ties comes weeks after a visit to India by U.S. President Barack Obama.

The United States has long privately encouraged dialogue between India and Pakistan hoping that better ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours could lead to cooperation in other areas such as Afghanistan.

Modi called his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, early on Friday to wish his country luck in the World Cup cricket tournament beginning this weekend and to tell him that new Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyan Jaishankar will soon visit Islamabad as well as other regional capitals. Sharif told Modi he welcomed the proposed visit of the Indian envoy to discuss all issues of common interest, the Pakistani foreign office said in a statement.

In Washington, the U.S. State Department welcomed the move. “The relationship between India and Pakistan is critical to advancing peace and security in South Asia, so we would certainly welcome any resumption of talks between the two countries,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a regular news conference.

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India’s Tip Diplomat to Visit Pakistan