Foreign Secretaries of India & Pakistan discuss terror

RSTV Bureau
Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan meet on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Conference in Delhi. Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan meet on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Conference in Delhi.
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

Foreign Secretary of India S Jaishankar met his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry in Delhi on Tuesday morning on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia regional conference.

Reports say the officials discussed a host of sticky issues including terror.

A statement issued by Ministry of External Affairs said India raised the Pathankot terror attack probe with Pakistani officials.

India insisted on an early and visible progress in the Pathankot attack probe and the 26/11 trial, said the MEA.

Talking tough on terror, Jaishankar clearly conveyed that Pakistan cannot be in denial on the issue of impact of terrorism on bilateral ties.

According to the MEA, Pakistan was told that terror groups based in their territory targeting India must not be allowed to operate with impunity.

Not just that, India also took up the issue of listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar in the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee.

However, according to a statement issued by Pakistan, both sides discussed all outstanding issues between the two countries including Kashmir.

“Kashmir requires a just solution in accordance with UNSC resolutions and wishes of Kashmiri people,” said Chaudhry after the meet.

“In line with our PM’s vision of peaceful neighbourhood, FS underscored Pakistan’s commitment to have friendly relations with all its neighbours/India. All outstanding issues including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute were discussed,” the Pakistan High Commission said ahead of the meet.

Foreign Secretary level talks between India and Pakistan were deferred in January in the wake of the strike at the strategic air base at Pathankot. Since then India has been pressing for action against terrorists responsible for the attack to take the talks forward.

Tuesday’s meeting was the first formal meeting between Jaishankar and Chaudhry after the announcement of Bilateral Comprehensive Dialogue by the Foreign Ministers in Islamabad last December.

The two secretaries had an informal brief interaction during a SAARC meeting in Nepal in March this year.

Earlier in the day, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted, “Another important bilateral for Foreign Secretary as he meets with his Pakistan counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry.”

Talks between India and Pakistan were derailed after Pathankot IAF base was attacked allegedly by  Pakistani terrorists in January this year. Seven Indian security personnel were killed in the attack that lasted for more than 40 hours. India said the attack was carried out by militants from the Pakistan- based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror outfit.

To investigate, India allowed a five-member Pakistani Joint Investigation Team to visit India from March 27 to April 1. The JIT which also comprised of an ISI officer, was also allowed to record statements of 16 witnesses.

On Monday, the Foreign Office said Pakistan looks forward to active participation in the forthcoming Heart of Asia meeting, reflecting “our commitment to efforts for promoting long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan”.

It also stated that the Pakistani delegation will hold bilateral meetings with other leading delegations attending the meeting.