A four-member Pakistani team of counter-terrorism and intelligence specialists visited New Delhi last week to attend a multilateral meeting, a media report said.
The Indian Express, quoting sources, said that the Pakistani officials, including a colonel from the country’s army, were hosted by Deputy NSA Rajinder Khanna — a former chief of RAW, India’s external agency — for a dinner reception, along with other delegates.
The Pakistan delegation comprised Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry Director General (Counter-Terrorism) Ahmad Farooq, National Counter Terrorism Authority Director Farhan Zahid, Joint Secretary (headquarters) Col Sajjad Hussein, and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Director Adeel Ahmed Khan, said the report.
They were in Delhi from January 31 to February 2, and the meeting was deliberately kept under wraps at the request of the visiting delegates, it said.
The quiet meeting on “counter-terrorism” and “security cooperation”, under the umbrella of SCO, was held in Delhi, the report said. Quoting sources, the reports said delegates from Pakistan, China, Russia among other countries in the grouping also went to Agra to see the Taj Mahal.
There was “no bilateral meeting” between Pakistani and Indian officials, but the discussions at the grouping were of “substantive nature”, it added.
“The discussions were largely focused on violent extremism and radicalisation — two of key concerns for the Central Asian countries, along with China and Russia,” the report quoting a source said.
“Since Pakistan and India have just entered the grouping, their concerns were not reflected. Chinese and Russian interlocutors are very clear on the fact that they do not want the bilateral issues between Pakistan and India to spill over on SCO discussions,” it added.
This was the first such occasion where officials dealing with “counter-terrorism” and “security” issues came to India from Pakistan in the last two years.