Pakistan, India set to resume talks next month


After a breakthrough in contacts between the national security advisors of Pakistan and India, the foreign secretary-level talks are likely to be held in February, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.

However, Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi ‎Khalilullah did not confirm finalisation of talks next month.

“What I can say is what I said in Thursday’s briefing… nothing new. Pakistan is in touch with its Indian counterparts and (foreign secretary-level) talks will ‎be held very soon,” Khalilullah said.

Meanwhile, Press Trust of India (PTI) also claimed that the talks would be held next month.

“The foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India are expected to meet next month and the two sides are in touch for finalising the new dates amid some ‘forward movement’,” the PTI said, quoting a senior Pakistani official.

“The two sides are in touch over the issue of the talks and dates would be announced after mutual agreement,” the PTI added.

India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary level talks, scheduled for 15 January, were deferred by the two countries mutually in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack. India has blamed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) for the attack and has been seeking action against the terror outfit and its chief Maulana Masood Azhar.‎

India also claims to have shared evidence with Pakistan about the perpetrators of the Pathankot terrorist attack. On the basis of the evidence, India has sought action by Pakistan for apprehending the JeM terrorists suspected to have been involved in the January 2 attack. Top Indian officials linked the fate of the talks to action by Pakistan.

After internal deliberations, the Pakistan government initiated a crackdown on JeM and reportedly held Azhar, believed to be the mastermind behind the attack, besides shutting down several seminaries associated with the banned outfit. However, the government has not officially confirmed Azhar’s detention.

The government also formed a team to investigate the evidence provided by India about JeM’s alleged involvement in the attack. Moreover, Pakistan also announced to send it’s investigators to India to get more evidence as the dossier provided by India ‎was ‘inadequate’ and needed more tangible evidence.

The ‎Indian government initially welcomed the probe, but later released a statement saying that the mandate of the investigating team would be limited and that they would not be provided access to witnesses or the site of the attack.

However, latest developments indicate that the two sides have made significant progress and a new round of talks may take place in February. China and the US have been urging Pakistan and India to resume talks which could thwart the nefarious designs of anti-dialogue hawks ‎active in both countries.




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