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Sajjan Jindal visited Pakistan on invitation from Nawaz Sharif: Indian journalist

16 May, 2017

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KARACHI: A seasoned Indian journalist and author claimed on Monday that his country’s steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal visited Pakistan on the invitation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and was not sent by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

An unannounced meeting between Mr Sharif and Mr Jandal at the hill resort town of Murree last month triggered intense speculation in the country, with several politicians and analysts suggesting it could be the precursor to a possible meeting between the Pakistani and Indian premiers in the near future.

Mr Jindal, who is known for being close to Mr Modi, also has a friendly relationship with the Sharif family. His visit was seen as part of some backchannel contact to improve relations between the two countries by some analysts and experts on Pak-India relations.

Though not much has been shared by any of the two governments on Mr Jindal’s visit, the nature of his engagements and points of discussion with PM Sharif during the meeting, Indian journalist Prem Shankar Jha said in a private TV show that the Indian businessman was actually invited by the Pakistani premier.

“Mr Jindal visited Pakistan on Nawaz Sharif’s invitation as he wasn’t sent by PM Modi’s advice,” he said at a Geo News show.

He strongly criticised the Indian government’s policy on Kashmir and said dialogue was the only way out to resolve the decades-old conflict.

“The Modi government is fast losing out all options. The situation [in Kashmir] is so grim that I don’t see any option of dialogue is left. I think that India doesn’t want to move towards dialogue.”

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