No headway in foreign secy talks

No headway in foreign secy talks

No headway in foreign secy talks
A meeting between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan here on Tuesday failed to mark the restart of bilateral dialogue, but ended with the usual exchange of rhetorics.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar made it clear to his Pakistani counterpart, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, that Islamabad would have to ensure “early and visible progress” in trial of the plotters of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, as well as in the probe into the January 2-5 attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab.

Chaudhry sought to underscore Kashmir as a core issue between India and Pakistan. He conveyed concerns over purported moves in India to release “prime suspects” of the February 19, 2007, blasts on the Samjhauta Express, which killed 42 Pakistanis.

Chaudhry cited the recent arrest of former Indian Navy officer Kul Bhushan Yadav in Pakistan to accuse New Delhi of fomenting trouble in his country. The allegation was dismissed by Jaishankar.

A source quoted Jaishankar asking Chaudhry which country would put its agent in the field with passport issued by its own government. Yadav had a passport issued by the Indian government when he was arrested. Jaishankar reiterated New Delhi’s demand for immediate consular access to Yadav.

The two foreign secretaries met in New Delhi on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process meet – a multilateral forum for discussing cooperation to help reconstruction in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

A statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Jaishankar clearly conveyed to Chaudhry that Pakistan could not be in denial on the impact of terrorism on the bilateral relationship.

“Terrorist groups based in Pakistan targeting India must not be allowed to operate with impunity,” said Vikas Swarup, MEA spokesperson.

He referred to India’s plea to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for imposing sanctions on Pakistan-based cleric Masood Azhar, who leads the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and, according to New Delhi, masterminded the Pathankot attack.

While the meeting was on, the High Commission of Pakistan here put out a brief statement on the parleys, a move, which according to officials in New Delhi, was a blatant violation of basic diplomatic protocol.
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