Foreign-Secretary level talks still on: Indian envoy to Pakistan

Indian HC to Pak

Amid growing uncertainty over the course of dialogue with Pakistan, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale has clarified that the talks between the foreign secretaries are still on the agenda and will take place as soon as the situation turns “favourable.”

In the backdrop of the Pathankot terror attacks on January 2, the Foreign Secretary-level talks between the two countries were postponed to be held in “the near future.” That near future remains indeterminate, at least for now.  

I cannot give any specific date for FS-level talks, but it will take place as soon as the situation becomes favourable. The national security advisors and foreign secretaries from both countries are in constant contact,” Mr Bambawale said in Islamabad. Mr Bambawale’s statement comes as a reassurance from the Indian side that it is committed to continuing dialogue with Pakistan.

India had put the ball in Pakistan’s court after the January 2 Pathankot terror attack, by asking the latter to take concrete action on the ground by cracking down on the perpetrators of the airbase assault. Pakistan agreed to investigate the matter, based on the leads given by India. However, recent developments where David Coleman Headley one of the masterminds of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks had testified to a Mumbai court on the role of ISI in supporting terror attacks on India, have revived questions on Pakistan’s commitment to combat anti-India terror.

According to some unnamed officials, Pakistan had interrogated Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his associates but had found no evidence linking him with the Pathankot attack. India had alleged that the JeM leader was the mastermind of the attack and had provided “actionable evidence” to Pakistan in this regard.

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