india-pak ties

Sharif tells ministers not to make anti-India remarks: report

Setting the agenda (File) Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed his ministers and aides not to make anti-India statements that can affect the recently resumed peace dialogue, according to a media report.

"There will be statements only that encourage the dialogue process rather than digging out the past. The Prime Minister has asked close aides and cabinet members to promote peace," a close aide of Sharif was quoted as saying by The Nation.

The measure was taken to let peace process move forward after being set in motion this month. The ministers and senior officials have been stopped from issuing statements which could damage the peace process, the report said.

Sharif's aide was quoted as saying that the Prime Minister was optimistic about better ties with India which would benefit the whole region.

He said Sharif was annoyed by some statements from India but understands this is not the Indian government's policy.

Sharif, the aide said, wanted to give top priority to Kashmir, terrorism and trade when the two sides sit on the table to discuss peace.

Another official was quoted as saying that the Prime Minister and the military leadership were on the same page to make peace with India.

"There is no difference of opinion and both agree that there should be no compromise on the stated position on key issues," he said.

Analysts say it was a positive development that Pakistan and India agreed to resume comprehensive dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan earlier this month during which she called on Prime Minister Sharif and met his Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

After the meetings, the two countries decided to re-engage under the 'Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue'.

The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet next month to work out the details of the dialogue.

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