In New Delhi, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that Foreign Secretary Jaishankar will, in accordance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “directives, be undertaking the first phase of the Saarc Yatra as per the following schedule: March 1, Bhutan; March 2, Bangladesh; March 3, Pakistan and Afghanistan March 4”.
“The schedule for the other destinations is being worked out through diplomatic channels and will be indicated separately,” Akbaruddin said in a statement. Pakistani Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said in Islamabad that following Modi’s call to Premier Nawaz Sharif Feb 13, “Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar would visit Pakistan March 3-4”. “During his visit, Jaishankar would hold a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry,” said Aslam.
Both sides have started preparations for the much anticipated visit. Earlier, during Modi’s conversation with Sharif, he said that Jaishankar would visit South Asian capitals, including Islamabad. The two countries, during Sharif’s visit to Delhi in May last year for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing in ceremony, agreed on a meeting of their foreign secretaries to discuss the way forward. (IANS)