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Pak Army Sees Red Over Nawaz Sharif, Sajjan Jindal Meeting

Pakistan's Foreign Office has kept mum on the timing and the motive behind the visit even as his "secret" visit echoed at the National Assembly.

Manoj Gupta | CNN-News18

Updated:May 2, 2017, 3:49 PM IST
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New Delhi: The Pakistan army is learnt to be upset with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over his recent meeting with Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal.

Army sources said it was a secret meeting and Jindal’s visit to the hill resort town of Murree was a clear violation of visa rules, facilitated by Sharif. They said Jindal’s visa only allowed him to visit Islamabad and Lahore.

Jindal, who is said to be a mutual friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sharif and considered a sort of back-channel contact, briefly visited Pakistan on April 26.

Jindal was taken by helicopter to Murree, where he met Prime Minister Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz. His trip led to speculation that a move for revival of bilateral dialogue could be afoot.

Pakistan's Foreign Office has kept mum on the timing and the motive behind the visit even as his "secret" visit echoed at the National Assembly.

There was no formal press statement by the PM's Office on Jindal's meeting with Sharif even though it regularly issues press releases on the prime minister’s engagements with business delegations.

Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif confirmed the meeting, but added that there was no reason for any speculation.

“Mr. Jindal is an old friend of the Prime Minister. Nothing ‘secret’ about the meeting and should not be blown out of proportion,” she tweeted.

Media reports said Jindal and his delegation were received by Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz’s son-in-law, Raheel Munir at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

Jindal in the past facilitated a secret meeting between Sharif and Modi in Kathmandu on the sidelines of a SAARC summit in 2014. The meeting had then helped save the summit that seemed to be headed for failure and a last-minute deal to create a regional electricity grid was clinched. In 2015, Jindal was in Lahore on the occasion of Modi’s surprise visit to greet Sharif on his birthday and attend his granddaughter’s wedding.

| Edited by: Swati Sharma
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