Need visible progress in Pathankot, 26/11 cases: India tells Pakistan
New Delhi: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar today clearly conveyed to his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry that Islamabad cannot be in denial over the impact of terrorism on bilateral ties between the two countries.
After the talks which lasted for nearly 90 minutes, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup said that India has conveyed to Pakistan the need for visible progress into terror attacks on India that originate from Pakistan’s soil.
“India’s Foreign Secretary emphasised the need for early and visible progress on the Pathankot terrorist attack investigation as well as Mumbai case trial in Pakistan,” he said.
During their meeting, Jaishankar told Aizaz that “terrorist groups based in Pakistan targeting India must not be allowed to operate with impunity”.
“He (Jaishankar) also brought up the listing of JeM leader Masood Azahar in 1276 Sanctions Committee,” Swarup added.
The discussion also covered humanitarian issues including those pertaining to fishermen and prisoners, and people to people contact including religious tourism, he said.
On Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was arrested in Balochistan and described as an ‘Indian spy’ by Pakistan, he said, “India pressed for immediate consular access to the former Naval officer.”
On the other hand, a statement issued by the Pakistan High Commission said that “all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and Pathankot attack were discussed” during the first high-level meeting between the two sides since January 2 terror attack.
"The Foreign Secretary (Chaudhry) emphasized (in his meeting with Jaishankar) that Kashmir remains the core issue that requires a just solution, in accordance with UN resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people," the statement said.
The statement marks a departure from usual protocol of not issuing a statement while the dialogue was still on. Moreover, picking on the Kashmir issue could also be an irritant as far as India is concerned.
"The meeting provided a useful opportunity to exchange views on recent developments in bilateral context. In line with our Prime Minister's vision of peaceful neighbourhood, the Foreign Secretary underscored Pakistan's commitment to have friendly relations with all its neighbours, including India," it added.
The statement further said that Chaudhry also took up the matter of RAW's alleged involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi.
"He said such acts (Jadhav’s arrest) undermine efforts to normalize relations between the two countries. He also conveyed concern over efforts by Indian authorities for the release of the prime suspects of the Samjhauta Express blasts," it added. The claim has been denied outright by India. The Indian Foreign Secretary is believed to have impressed upon his Pakistani counterpart that no spy agency would put their agent in the field with their own passport, and without a visa.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Envoy Abdul Basit expressed confidence that building on the goodwill generated by the recent high level contacts, the two countries would remain committed to a sustained, meaningful and comprehensive dialogue process.
Aizaz, who is leading a delegation for Heart of Asia Summit, arrived here at 11 am. Ahead of his arrival in the New Delhi, the Pakistani diplomat said that Islamabad ‘wants to resolve all outstanding issues with India, including Kashmir, through talks’.
This was the first high-level meeting between the two sides, after the proposed meeting on January 14-15 was cancelled following the January 2 Pathankot terror attack. The two had, however, met in March when Jaishankar had travelled to Islamabad as part of his SAARC Yatra.
According to reports, the decision to send Chaudhry in place of an official in the rank of Joint Secretary for the Heart of Asia conference was taken a week ago after India evinced interest in heightening the profile of the meeting.