The MEA cleared the air on the speculation that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto might meet at an SCO event

After Shehbaz Sharif replaced Imran Khan as the Pakistan Prime Minister, speculation was rife that the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan could meet soon. When asked whether an interaction between Bilawal Bhutto and S Jaishankar was possible on the sidelines of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) Foreign Ministers' meeting scheduled next week, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a clarification. Addressing a press briefing on Thursday, MEA official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi did not explicitly rule out this possibility but assured that he will make a public announcement if such a meeting is scheduled.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "Look by now I can happily say we will not announce visits till it’s appropriate time. If there's something there with the SCO, Foreign Ministers Meeting I will let you know, I will assure you we'll share the information with you. At this point I don't have information, far less on the engagement that may happen during a visit that we haven't yet announced. As regards the other one in Tashkent, yes, I'm aware of that, but again, I don't have announcement yet, if we do, I'll let you know."

Pakistan PM On Ties With India

In his inaugural speech after being elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan on April 10, Shehbaz Sharif chided his predecessor Imran Khan for not doing serious diplomacy on the Kashmir issue. He stressed, "Our government wants good relations with India, but till the issue of Kashmir is resolved peaceful relations cannot happen between India and Pakistan". Moreover, he also decried the abrogation of Article 370 and its impact on the people of J&K.