After weeks of staying mum over his meeting with Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal last month, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has now tagged his Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa as an alibi in backing the secret meeting as ‘back-channel diplomacy’.

Sharif has taken Pakistan Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa into confidence on his meeting with Jindal that took place on April 27 at the hill resort of Murree, BBC Urdu reported.

Amid the tensions between India and Pakistan, Jindal was supported by some important Indian officials while the civilian leadership had informed the military authorities that Sharif’s meeting with Jindal was a part of back-channel diplomacy.

The only details coming out from the meeting depicted Jindal’s efforts in melting down the tension between the two nations.

With the most talked about ‘Sharif-Jindal meeting’ giving rise to speculations by saying that it was a move to revive the stalled dialogue process between the two countries, Pakistan in revert are now seeking a possibility in arranging a meeting between Sharif and PM Narendra Modi at Astana’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit on June 8-9 in Kazakhstan.

In Pakistan, former cricketer Imran Khan’s Tehreek-i-Insaf party expressed concern over the secret meeting.

The party further alleged the meeting was India’s en route in conveying a message to Sharif on the death penalty to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Interestingly, the steel tycoon Jindal was considered the mastermind when PM Modi and Sharif first met 2 years back in Lahore on December 25.

First Published | 12 May 2017 1:08 PM
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