Don’t be in denial on terror, take visible action: India to Pak
India on Tuesday clearly told Pakistan not to be in a denial mode on the impact of terrorism on the bilateral relationship, conveying that terrorist groups based in Pakistan and targeting India must not be allowed to operate with impunity.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry met for nearly 90 minutes, during which sticky issues such as probe into the Pathankot terror attack, 26/11 trial and Samjhauta Express blast investigations figured.
Jaishankar also brought up the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar in the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee. Besides, India pressed for immediate consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Naval officer abducted and taken to Pakistan. However, Islamabad has alleged that the Indian national was a spy and charged him with encouraging insurgency in Balochistan, a charge vehemently denied by New Delhi.
The meeting between Jaishankar and Chaudhry, who is primarily here to attend the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference, was the first formal interaction since their scheduled talks were deferred in the wake of the Pathankot attack in January.
Describing the discussions as “frank and constructive”, India said humanitarian issues including those pertaining to fishermen and prisoners, and people to people contacts including religious tourism were also covered. The External Affairs Ministry said in a statement that the two Foreign Secretaries exchanged ideas on taking the relationship forward and agreed to remain in touch.
“Foreign Secretary Jaishankar clearly conveyed that Pakistan cannot be in denial on the impact of terrorism on the bilateral relationship. Terrorist groups based in Pakistan targeting India must not be allowed to operate with impunity,” the statement added.
In a statement, Pakistan expressed concern over Indian agency RA&W’s alleged involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi, something which India has been denying time and again.
On its part, the Pakistani statement said its Foreign Secretary raised the issue of Kashmir stressing that it remained the “core issue that requires a just solution in accordance with UNSC resolutions and wishes of Kashmiri people.”
On Samjhauta Express blast, Chaudhry raised concern “over efforts by Indian authorities for the release of the prime suspects of the Samjhauta Express blasts.”
“The Foreign Secretary further pointed out that, despite repeated requests India has not shared investigation reports in which 42 Pakistanis had lost their lives. He also conveyed concern over the environment being created in India for the release of the prime suspects of the Samjhauta Express blasts,” the Pakistan High Commission said. Strangely, in a departure from normal protocol, the Pakistani side released the talking points even as the two top officials were still in the midst of their discussion.