An informal meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York in the second half of September is not ruled out as of now.

Informed sources said it was too early to say anything concrete at this stage in this regard. To an extent, the meeting between the two foreign ministers would also depend on the speeches Pakistani participants make at the UNGA.

If the speeches were laced with anti-India rhetoric and focused on Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi would have to consider whether any useful purpose would be served by holding even an informal meeting with the Pakistani side, sources said.

Reports in the Pakistani media have also suggested the possibility of a meeting between the two foreign ministers in New York. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi deciding to skip the General Assembly meet this year, Swaraj will lead the Indian delegation at the 73rd session.

From the Pakistan side, indications are that new Prime Minister Imran Khan would not attend the session and, therefore, Qureshi would lead the Pakistani delegation.

Ever since his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party emerged victorious in the general elections in Pakistan, Khan has been making positive noises on ties with India. ”Let India take one step, we will take two” towards normalisation of ties, he told the media even before he was sworn in on 18 August.

In a tweet last week, he called for dialogue and trade between the two countries. Modi has telephoned Khan once and sent a congratulatory message too, conveying India’s commitment to constructive engagement with Pakistan