KATHMANDU - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has rejected the use of a bulletproof car provided by India for next week’s summit of South Asian leaders in Kathmandu, a Nepalese official said Monday.

Sharif will be bringing his own car, all other vehicles for the visiting heads of countries have come from India,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Khaga Nath Adhikari.

Adhikari denied the move was a snub specifically targeted at India whose tense ties with Pakistan have worsened since October over some of the worst cross-border firing in years.

“It is not that they have refused to use an Indian car; when the US president travels, he also brings his own car, it’s not an issue,” he told AFP.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit will see the leaders of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and Pakistan meet in Kathmandu on November 26 and 27.

Recent exchanges of fire across the de facto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir which both the countries administer in part but claim in full have killed at least 20 civilians and forced thousands to flee their homes.

The nuclear-armed neighbours that have fought two wars over Muslim-majority Kashmir have traded blame for the upsurge in firing and shelling which started on October 6.

India called off peace talks in August after Pakistan first consulted Kashmiri freedom leaders, a move some saw as a sign of a tougher stance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new right-wing government.

Miliband, Nawaz discuss

Pak-UK ties

INP adds from Islamabad: Ex-foreign secretary of United Kingdom, Mr David Miliband called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday and discussed with him issues of bilateral interest.

During the meeting, also attended by UK's High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr Philip Barton, both sides vowed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. Miliband, who is President of International Rescue Committee, also apprised the prime minister of matters relating to the Committee, which is a global humanitarian aid, relief and development NGO that offers emergency aid and long-term assistance to refugees and those displaced by war, persecution or natural disaster.  Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Special Assistant to PM, Tariq Fatemi were also present during the meeting.

Kashmir should be

resolved: Basit

Pakistan High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit said the Kashmir dispute should be resolved in a ‘just and fair’ manner through dialogue, The Hindu website reported.

Basit made the remarks while speaking to the media at Hyderabad Press Club.

He said that relations between Pakistan and India should not be held hostage due to Kashmir.“India-Pakistan relations are very important and also very complex at the same time,” he said.

He regretted cancellation of talks between the two countries and expressed hope that efforts to ‘break the ice’ would yield results. “As a diplomat, I am trying to strengthen the ties and I hope during my tenure in India things will move ahead,” the Hindu reported Basit as saying.

The high commissioner said he wanted Pakistan and India to come together to tackle serious issues like terrorism, human trafficking, organised crime, and climate change.