Sartaj Aziz
Sushma Swaraj, SartajAziz and India, Pakistan foreign secretaries may meet in Nepal during SAARC Council of Foreign Ministers' meeting March 16 and 17. Picture: Advisor to Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz (R) shakes hands with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj after their meeting at the foreign ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, December 9, 2015.Reuters

Foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan may meet on the sidelines of the 37th South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Council of Foreign Ministers' meeting this week in Pokhara, Nepal. The foreign-secretary-level talks between the two countries have long been due over several issues, primarily the January Pathankot attack.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistani Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, who will be attending the meeting on March 16 and March 17, are also likely to meet, the Express Tribune reported. However, there has been no report or confirmation on the possibility of a bilateral meeting between the two.

India has not scheduled any bilateral meeting with Pakistan or other countries, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said last week.

Pakistan is, however, looking forward to kicking off the talks with India, a Pakistani official told the Economic Times. "There is no proposal as of now for the meeting in Nepal but Pakistan will respond positively if India approaches us for this purpose," the official said on condition of anonymity.

The foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan were to meet in Islamabad in January this year, but it was cancelled after the attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab, on Jan. 2. New Delhi had claimed the attackers infiltrated into the Indian side of the border from Pakistan.

If India and Pakistan agree to hold bilateral talks, they will discuss a series of issues, including Kashmir, Siachen, trade and commerce.

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