Secret meeting between Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and JSW Group chairman Sajjan Jindal
Islamabad, April28:News that a three-member Indian delegation had secretly met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Muree on Wednesday rocked Islamabad on Thursday afternoon.
Pakistani news channel ARY News, which broke the story, reported that the Indian steel tycoon and JSW Group chairman Sajjan Jindal was among three Indians who called on Sharif in Murree on Wednesday.
The delegation “reached Islamabad from Kabul in a special aircraft at 10 am on Wednesday from where they travelled to Murree by road in three vehicles to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” the report said.
The other two members of the delegation were identified as Suket Singhal and Virander Babar Singh, “but details relating to their ranks and affiliation could not be established”, the channel said.
Other media outlets picked up the story, and the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) lawmaker in the Punjab Assembly, Mian Mehmood-ul-Rasheed, reportedly tabled a resolution demanding that Sharif comes clean about the meeting.
“We are concerned over the visit. Prime Minister Sharif has business relations with Indians,” a PTI spokesperson said.
Pakistani analysts and the media speculated that the Indian team had either come with a special message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, or had come to negotiate the release of former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who a Pakistani military court has alleged was an Indian spy and awarded the death sentence.
According to one report, Sajjan Jindal had reportedly played a key role in arranging the surprise meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi in Raiwind on December 25, 2016. Sources further claimed that Jindal was a guest at the wedding ceremony of Sharif’s granddaughter.
Finally, at 7.38 pm on Thursday, Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz went on Twitter to confirm the meeting.
“Mr. Jindal is an old friend of the Prime Minister. Nothing ‘secret’ about the meeting & should not be blown out of proportion. Thank you,” Maryam Nawaz tweeted.