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India says Modi’s visit to Pakistan still undecided

NEW DELHI: Indian government, turning down a claim made by India’s High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was looking forward to visiting Pakistan, has stated that they have still not taken any decision on the matter.

“Decisions of such nature not made so far in advance,” said MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup, according to Indian Express.

Bambawale had also told an event in Karachi on Monday that while India and Pakistan must certainly discuss the entire range of issues, they must keep their focus on economy which he described as a ‘low-hanging fruit’.

“I can’t say about the future but as of today Prime Minister Modi is looking forward to visiting Islamabad for the Saarc summit in November,” Bambawale said at an interactive session of the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations.

His comments came amid reports that Modi might keep away from the Saarc Summit in view of the rising tensions between India and Pakistan, particularly over Jammu and Kashmir, reported Samaa.

Bambawale said that it was India’s desire to see a Pakistan which was moderate, prosperous and stable and at peace with itself, its neighbours as well as the rest of the world.

He admitted that trust and confidence was lacking in relations between New Delhi and Islamabad.

The road to normalization of Pakistan-India relations, he said, lay through greater trade and business, the roadmap for which was prepared by the two governments in 2012.

The total trade between the two countries was worth just $2.5 billion a year while its potential was of $20 billion, the Dawn quoted him as saying.

The Indian envoy said that even when tensions were high between the two countries, there had been contacts at the operational level.