Using cricket diplomacy, Modi called leaders of four SAARC nations which, along with India, are participating in cricket World Cup starting on Sunday. He conveyed best wishes to their teams.
Thereafter, Modi announced that Jaishankar will undertake a "SAARC yatra" soon to strengthen relationship with them.
The "yatra" will take him to Pakistan with which India broke off foreign secretary-level talks in August last at the eleventh hour because the Pakistan High Commissioner here held consultations with Kashmiri separatists.

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Sharif welcomed the foreign secretary's proposed visit "to discuss all issues of common interest", Pakistan Prime Minister's Spokesperson said in Islamabad.

Briefing reporters, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "Obviously, no one misuses an opportunity available," when asked if the Foreign Secretary will use the visit to discuss bilateral issues.

FILE PHOTO: Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi
"Sure, we have a bilateral agenda with all the SAARC countries and we will pursue that bilateral agenda too within the constraints of short visit to each of these countries.... Every leader and diplomat uses every opportunity to push its bilateral agenda," he said when repeatedly asked about Foreign Secretary's visit to Pakistan and if he will discuss bilateral issues.

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However, he emphasised that the Foreign Secretary's "yatra", at the instruction of the Prime Minister, will be mainly with a focus on SAARC agenda as outlined by Modi at the SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November last. This included a dedicated SAARC satellite, South Asian University and simplified medical visas, he said.
Significantly, Modi's telephonic call to Sharif today came hours after US President Barack Obama spoke with the Pakistani Prime Minister.
Asked about Sharif's remarks to Obama that India's permanent membership in the reformed UN Security Council was unacceptable to Pakistan as it has not complied with UN resolutions on Kashmir, Akbaruddin said every country was entitled to their views.
However, since the matter was being discussed in UN General Assembly, no country has a veto power regarding the issue, the Spokesperson added.

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