Indo-Pak Foreign Secretaries to meet today; Pathankot attack, NIA visit top on agenda
New Delhi: Four months after the deadly terror attack at Pathankot IAF base, India and Pakistan have finally decided to end their diplomatic deadlock with the Foreign Secretaries of the two sides meeting in New Delhi today on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia summit.
Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary will arrive here this morning for the Heart of Asia conference. After attending this meet, he will hold a bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar in the afternoon. The Heart of Asia conference (part of Istanbul process) is an annual meet on Afghanistan. The conference is being held in New Delhi this time.
Today’s meeting between the two diplomats is seen as an opportunity to restart the comprehensive bilateral dialogue process between India and Pakistan.
India is expected to raise the issue of investigation the Pathankot terror attack, apart from discussing modalities of resuming the comprehensive bilateral dialogue. The Foreign Ministers of both the nation had met during SAARC summit in Nepal in November last year. But then the Pathankot attack acted as a speed-breaker in the talks process.
This will be Chaudhary’s first bilateral meeting with Jaishankar, 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 was taken a week ago after India evinced interest in heightening the profile of the meeting.
In a statement issued in Islamabad, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Chaudhry would hold bilateral meetings with other leading delegations attending the Heart of Asia meeting.