New Delhi (Sputnik): Ahead of first face-to-face meeting of the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit since a mid-February escalation, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood is in New Delhi for three days. Both countries have termed it a "private visit".
Nevertheless, local media speculates that the Pakistani foreign secretary is laying the groundwork for a thaw between India and Pakistan at next week's SCO summit in Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan.
An Indian government source said that Mehmood arrived in New Delhi along with his family on Tuesday on a "personal visit". He will return to Pakistan on Thursday. On Wednesday morning, Mehmood offered prayers on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr festival in New Delhi's historic Jama Masjid mosque.
Later in the day, Indian envoy to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria also visited Pakistani President Arif Alvi, as an official said, to "convey Eid greetings".
Earlier, on 26 May, during the first direct communication with Imran Khan, Modi referred to his earlier suggestion to fight poverty jointly, saying: "creating trust, an environment free of violence and terrorism, are essential for peace, progress and prosperity in our region".
On 22 May, then-Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj held an informal dialogue on the side-lines of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO in Bishkek.
Qureshi made it clear to Swaraj that Pakistan does "want all the matters resolved through dialogue and that Prime Minister Khan had said in his very first speech that if India takes one step forward, we would take two steps forward".
The two countries stopped the bilateral dialogue in 2016 when Pakistan-based terrorist groups, as India claimed, conducted a series of attacks on military installations.
The relations touched a new low this year in February, when 40 Indian soldiers were killed in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir. It led to the Indian Air Force launching an air strike on 26 February in retaliation. The two nuclear-armed nations reached near a war-like stage when Pakistan retaliated on the following day and brought down an Indian fighter jet.