NSA talks: Looking ahead India prepares its case

Rajat Kain


FILE: File photo of Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit (L) greeting Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. Photo – PTI

Notwithstanding the recent developments, which some quarters feel are aimed at affecting the slated Indo-Pak NSA talks, Narendra Modi government has once again reiterated that the talks will go on as per the schedule on August 23 in New Delhi. The Indian side is not just looking ahead at the talks between NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistan counterpart Sartaj Aziz, the government on its part is also preparing neat to present its case on 26/11 attacks, cross-border terrorism, ceasefire violations and dossier on the fugitives.

“It was decided between the meeting of PM Modi and Pakistan Nawaz Sharif… It is a talk on terror,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said when asked about the fate of talks in the wake of recent developments fuelling speculation.

Last two days have witnessed dramatic events having potential to add to the already shaky contours. It began with Pakistan High Commission on Tuesday sending an invitation to the Kashmiri separatist leaders seeking their participation in the meeting with Sartaj Aziz on the eve of his NSA-level talks with Ajit Doval.

The Pakistan High Commission, on its part, justified the invitation to Kashmiri separatist leaders saying “such meetings are not unprecedented”.

“We have been meeting and talking to them (Kashmiri leaders). There is nothing unprecedented about it. I don’t understand why there is so much hype,” Manzoor Ali Memon, Counsellor (Press) in Pakistan High Commission told the news agency.

And then a day after Kashmiri separatist leaders accepted the invite, the top three among them – Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Abbas Ansari – were placed under house arrest early on Thursday. The separatist leaders, however, were freed few hours later.


FILE: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval (C), with officials of the PMO in New Delhi. Photo – PTI

Meanwhile, Modi government is preparing hard to press its case firmly with Pakistan. NSA Ajit Doval is expected to hand over his counterpart Sartaj Aziz a list of 60 fugitives who have taken shelter in Pakistan besides the key issues of deportation of underworld don and 1993 Mumbai serial blast accused Dawood Ibrahim and the speedy trial in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

The Indian side will also be confronting Pakistan with evidence gathered thus far in the probe on the terror attacks in Gurdaspur and Udhampur. One terrorist, Mohammed Naved, was arrested after the attack in Udhampur and has since given several details on how he crossed the LoC to execute dastardly attack on the BSF convoy early last month.

In his purported statement, Mohammed Naved has confessed that Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and “persons appearing to be Pakistan Army officers” visited the terror camp once in a while and gave them motivational speech and tips on terror.

Besides, NSA Ajit Doval is expected to strongly take up the issue of 26/11 case trial in Pakistan court, which hasn’t seen much of headway in the recent days, with all prime accused, including the LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi out on bail.

(With inputs from the agencies)