Parl panel discusses Ind-Pak ties post Pathankot attack

RSTV Bureau
Pathankot: Security personnel during their operation against the militants who attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on Sunday, January 4, 2015. Photo - PTI

Pathankot: Security personnel during their operation against the militants who attacked the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot on Sunday, January 4, 2015.
Photo – PTI

Central government earlier this week faced some tough questions on Indo-Pak relations from some members of Parliamentary committee in the backdrop of terror attack at the Pathankot air base on January 1. The panel was briefed by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

“There were frank questions and frank answers. It was a good meeting,” said a member, who attended the meeting but declined to divulge the details.

The Foreign Secretary briefed the members of the Standing Committee of Parliament on External Affairs on Indo-Pakistan relations under the current political situation in Pakistan.

At an earlier meeting of the panel on December 29, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar was grilled by the committee members, who wanted to know why India failed to anticipate the crisis in Nepal which has taken a heavy toll on ties.

There was a view in the committee that the details of such meetings on such sensitive issues should not go outside the panel as they impact long-term strategies, a member said on the condition of anonymity.

FILE: File photo of Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.  Photo - PTI

FILE: File photo of Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
Photo – PTI

The panel’s Tuesday meeting on the status of Indo-Pak relations came in the backdrop of India and Pakistan deferring their foreign secretary-level talks to “very near future” after the Pathankot attack. Seven security personnel, including a Lt. Col. of NSG, were martyred in a near three-day counter-terror operation after six terrorists had attacked Pathankot air base. All six terrorists were killed by the Indian security forces.

It is also learnt that Foreign Secretary was asked number of questions by the panel members concerning the impact of Pathankot terror attack on Indo-Pak relations and about the response of Pakistan on it.

The opposition members also sought to know about the Union government’s handling of relations with Pakistan, according to the reports.

After the hour-long meeting was over, the panel headed by Congress member Shashi Tharoor also held an interaction meeting with a visiting Congressional Delegation from the USA.

The committee currently has 29-members — 21 from Lok Sabha and 8 from Rajya Sabha after two vacancies one from each House.

(With inputs from PTI)