New Delhi :
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets Sartaj Aziz Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs today in Pokhara on the sidelines of SAARC summit. In this bilateral talks, both the countries are willing to discuss all issues, including the Pathankot terror attack, with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj here in Nepal.
Aziz also expressed hope that the Pakistani Special Investigation Team will be able to visit India soon to carry forward the probe into the attack at the Air Force base in Pathankot in January.
Though the main purpose of the meeting is to handover the invitation for the SAARC Summit. Hence Sartaj Aziz handed over the SAARC summit invitation for PM Modi to EAM Sushma Swaraj in Pokhara, Nepal today.
India and Pakistan are competing to host the SAARC Environment and Disaster Management Center, a new body to look into the environment and disaster related issues in the region.
During the ongoing meeting of 37th SAARC Council of Ministers in this Nepalese resort city, some 200 km west from Kathmandu, the two nations laid claims to host the headquarters of the newly proposed body.
India, Pakistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh had expressed their desire to host the headquarters. During the several rounds of negotiations, Bhutan and Bangladesh withdrew their claims, leaving India and Pakistan in the race.
“What can be confirm is that other interested member states have dropped their claims over hosting the regional body,” said two diplomats familiar to the development, adding that there can be breakthrough only when one of the countries backs off.
Climate change, degradation of environment and recurring various types of natural disasters have taken a toll in the region and member states are less prepared to combat these menace. With this realisation, the member states have agreed to set up such centre to meet the challenges in a professional manner, The Kathmandu Post reported.
Member states had agreed to merge SAARC Disaster Management Centre, SAARC Forest Management Centre, Coastal Area Management Centre and Environment Centre into environment and disaster management centre.
After programming committee meeting of joint secretary level, foreign secretary level meeting of standing committee level could not make headway, the issue has now landed at the ministerial level meeting.
Sources told the newspaper that the issue figured in a brief meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Relations Adviser to Pakistani Premier, Sartaj Aziz, today during a breakfast meet hosted by Nepal’s Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa.