Sajjan Jindal Meeting Back-Channel Diplomacy: Nawaz Sharif To Pak Army

Pakistan government informed military authorities that Nawaz Sharif's hour-long meeting with Sajjan Jindal was a part of back-channel diplomacy.

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Sajjan Jindal Meeting Back-Channel Diplomacy: Nawaz Sharif To Pak Army

Nawaz Sharif met Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal on April 27

Islamabad: 

Highlights

  1. Nawaz Sharif tight-lipped on his meeting with Indian steel tycoon Jindal
  2. Mr Jindal had backing of important Indian officials for meeting: report
  3. Indo-Pak ties strained over cross-border attacks, Kulbhushan Jadhav
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has told the country's powerful Army that his meeting with Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal last month was part of back-channel diplomacy, a media report said on Thursday. BBC Urdu reported that Mr Sharif has taken Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa into confidence on his meeting with Mr Jindal on April 27 at the hill resort of Murree.

Pakistan's government informed military authorities that Mr Sharif's hour-long meeting with Mr Jindal was a part of back-channel diplomacy. And Mr Jindal had the backing of some important Indian officials for the meeting to defuse ongoing tension between the two countries, the report said.

India-Pakistan ties are strained over a series of cross-border terror attacks in India and over the death sentence to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court. India has denied Pakistan's allegations and maintained that Mr Jadhav, a former naval officer, was kidnapped by Pakistani intelligence agencies from Iran.

The report quoting a ruling PML-N leader said Mr Sharif was tight-lipped on his meeting with Mr Jindal.

However, the only detail of the meeting he shared with his aides was that Mr Jindal was making efforts to defuse tension between India and Pakistan.

It said the military leadership also took its officers into confidence on the meeting. Gen Bajwa told his officers that the meeting was a part of a back-channel diplomacy.

The Sharif-Jindal meeting had triggered intense speculation with several politicians and analysts suggesting it could be the precursor to a possible meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in the near future.

Pakistan prime minister's adviser on foreign affairs Adviser Aziz told reporters on Wednesday that if India shows interest, Pakistan will look into the possibility of a meeting between Mr Sharif and PM Modi on the sidelines of the SCO summit on June 8-9 at Astana in Kazakhstan.

Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had moved a resolution in the Punjab Assembly expressing concern over the "secret" meeting. It had also alleged that Mr Jindal conveyed PM Modi's "message" to Mr Sharif on the death penalty to Mr Jadhav on spying charges.

Mr Jindal is said to be the man who had arranged a meeting between PM Modi and Mr Sharif in Lahore on December 25 in 2015 on the Pakistani PM's birthday and the day when Mr Sharif's granddaughter Mehr-un-Nisa was married.

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