India and Pakistan confirm NSA talks on August 23

RSTV Bureau

Modi-Nawaz-PIB-editIndia and Pakistan are all set to hold the first ever bilateral talks between the National Security Advisors of the two countries. The talks between Ajit Doval and Sartaj Aziz are slated to be held in New Delhi on August 23. Confirming the invitation from Indian authorities, Pakistan PM’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz on Thursday said that he will visit India on August 23 for talks with his counterpart.

“Yes, I can confirm it that I will be going to India on (August) 23rd for talks,” the octogenarian key bureaucrat in Pakistan establishment told the press in Islamabad.

In the invitation, India had proposed August 23-24 for the meeting between two National Security Advisors. According to the Pakistan government sources, the decision to attend the meeting was taken after the final nod by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif late on Wednesday night.

The issue of first ever NSA-level talks between the two nations had ran into a slim speculation with a spike in Indo-Pak tension off late due to ceasefire violations and terror attacks in Punjab and Jammu. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also told that the terrorists involved in both the attack were Pakistanis, though Pakistan authorities denied that the attacks were perpetrated by terrorists who had infiltrated from their territory.

Earlier in the midst of tension, Pakistan alleged that a “spy drone” was being used by India for aerial photography near the Line of Control (LoC). However, the claim was outrightly dismissed by the Indian army and Indian Air force.

Even last week, Sartaj Aziz had gone on record saying that Pakistan establishment wants an “unconditional” and “result-oriented dialogue” with India on all issues of mutual concern, including the core issue of Kashmir.

“Pakistan wants a constructive, sustained, unconditional and result-oriented dialogue with India on all issues of mutual concern including the core issue of Kashmir,” Aziz had said speaking at the 22nd Ministerial Meeting of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

The two neighbour nations had charted a commitment to hold talks between their National Security Advisors during the PM-level delegation meet in Ufa, Russia. Prime Minister Modi had held a meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the sidelines of SCO summit on July 10.

(With inputs from the PTI and agencies)