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Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood Offers Eid Prayers at Jama Masjid

PTI

Last Updated: June 05, 2019, 18:53 IST

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood Offers Eid Prayers at Jama Masjid

Sohail Mahmood was Pakistan's High Commissioner to India before he assumed charge of Foreign Secretary in mid-April.

New Delhi: On a three-day private visit to India, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood Wednesday offered Eid prayers at the historic Jama Masjid here, diplomatic sources said.

Mahmood, who was Pakistan's High Commissioner to India before he assumed charge of the top post in mid-April, arrived here on Tuesday night.

It is not immediately known whether he would meet any Indian officials or leaders during his stay here.

Mahmood's children were studying here and he has come to take his family back home, sources said.

The foreign secretary is scheduled to return to Pakistan on Friday.

Mahmood's visit, even though it is a private one, comes amid speculation about the possibility of a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek next week.

Both Modi and Khan are scheduled to attend the annual SCO summit on June 13-14.

Tensions between the two countries worsened after the Pulwama terror attack and both the countries were almost on the brink of war after India's military planes struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26 and Pakistan carried out a counter-offensive the next day.

Breaking the ice in bilateral ties, Khan on May 26 spoke to Modi on phone and expressed his desire to work together for peace and prosperity in the region.

Modi on his part called for creating trust and an environment free of violence and terrorism for fostering peace and prosperity in the region.

Before returning to Pakistan on April 14, Mahmood had told PTI that dialogue between India and Pakistan was the only option to understand mutual concerns and ensure peace, prosperity, and security in the region.

He said Pakistan was hoping for "re-engagement" with India after the Lok Sabha polls.

"Sustained engagement and structured dialogue would enable the two countries to understand mutual concerns and differences, resolve outstanding disputes and build the edifice of durable peace, security and prosperity in the region," Mahmood had said.

India has not been engaging with Pakistan following the attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016, maintaining that talks and terror cannot go together.

first published:June 05, 2019, 16:25 IST
last updated:June 05, 2019, 18:53 IST