S Jaishankar to set stage for Narendra Modi’s visit to UNGA

External affairs minister S Jaishankar will prepare the diplomatic groundwork for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UNGA visit this month and hold bilateral talks with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo on September 30 to further cement Indo-American ties, senior officials familiar with the schedule said on Sunday.


According to diplomatic officials based in New York, Washington and New Delhi, the Modi government does not want to leave anything to chance when it comes to dealing with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue at the UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) and will press hard to counter any moves from Islamabad.


Jaishankar is expected to leave for Finland, which takes over the European Union leadership, on September 19 and reach Houston on September 21 before Prime Minister Modi’s address to the Indian diaspora on September 22.


For the next four days till Modi leaves New York after addressing the UN General Assembly on September 27, Jaishankar will accompany the PM and firefight any allegations raised by Pakistan, especially by its prime minister Imran Khan during his UNGA address, said one of the officials cited above.


Khan is expected to focus his UNGA speech exclusively on Kashmir and allege human rights violations in the Valley in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370. After Modi leaves, Jaishankar is scheduled to travel to Washington for bilateral meetings with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and other senior officials of the administration. As of now, he will be meeting Secretary Pompeo on September 30 with an aim to lift bilateral ties to the next level across the board. He returns to India on October 3 after an event to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, another official said.