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12 January 2018, 10:34 | Opal Carroll
India, Pakistan NSAs held meeting, confirms MEA spokesperson, says talks on terror can go ahead
"I think we raised the issue of cross-border terrorism (with Pakistan) in those talks", External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar was quoted by IANS.
The government confirmed on Thursday that National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval met his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Khan Janjua in Bangkok last month with a focus on how to fight terror and end cross-border terrorism. The report, on December 31, said that while the meeting was held a day after retired Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on Death Row in Pakistan, met his wife and mother in Islamabad, it was "pre-scheduled" and not linked to Pakistan's treatment of Jadhav's family. We have said talks and terror can not go together. MEA also confirmed an earlier report of a "secret meeting" between the NSAs of the two countries.
The stated position that "talks and terror" can not go together applies to the dialogue process but that does not close the other mechanisms for contact between the two countries, he said.
Bilateral talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours are on the back-burner, with tensions running high over territorial issues and terrorism.
The Indian Express had also reported that Pakistan has maintained high-level diplomatic contacts with the Indian establishment, even as New Delhi has maintained the rhetoric that terror and talks can not go together. "It is not to do with anything which is happening at that point of time", he said.
The composite dialogue process has been stalled since August 2014 when India called off foreign secretary-level talks.
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