M A I N   N E W S

From Sharif to Sonia: A ‘get well’ bouquet
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, September 4
Amid speculation about the possibility of a meeting between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in New York later this month, Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif had sent a bouquet of flowers along with a ‘get well’ message to Congress President Sonia Gandhi last week, it is learnt.

Sonia felt unwell in the Lok Sabha on August 26 when the House was intensely debating the National Food Security Bill and was taken to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in full media glare. She has since gone to the US for further medical check-ups.

According to sources, Sharif asked his aides to send a bouquet to the UPA chairperson as soon as he learnt about her sudden illness. Subsequently, the Pakistan Foreign Office instructed Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir in New Delhi to have the bouquet and a ‘Get Well’ message delivered to Sonia.

The sources said Sonia conveyed her thanks to the Pakistan PM for his message. This was said to be the first exchange of communication between Sonia and Sharif after the elections in Pakistan.

Sharif’s gesture is being seen as a positive development in India-Pakistan relations which suffered a major setback early last month following the killing of five Indian soldiers on the Line of Control (LoC).

It comes at a time when New Delhi and Islamabad are in touch to consider the possibility of a meeting between Sharif and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the margins of the UN General Assembly on September 29. Yesterday, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan TCA Raghavan had met Pakistan PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to discuss the state of relations between the two countries.

It is learnt that they also discussed the issues that could come up at the expected meeting between the two PMs. The Special Envoys of the two countries, SK Lambah (India) and Shaharyar Khan (Pakistan), had also met last week in Dubai as part of the ‘Track II’ initiative.

While New Delhi still unwilling to resume a full-fledged dialogue with Pakistan on all outstanding issues in an atmosphere of tension due to frequent ceasefire violations, Islamabad is insisting that both sides should move forward in a positive manner and put in place a mechanism for sustainable dialogue.





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |