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India, Pakistan held NSA-level talks focussing on cross-border terrorism: MEA

13 January 2018, 01:01 | Taylor George

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

Kumar reaffirmed India's stand that terror and talks can not go together.

Asked if the way the two women were treated came up at the NSA talks, he said: "The focus was on terror and cross-border terrorism".

The main topics of the talks were security and cross-border terrorism, the spokesperson pointed out.

The meeting also took place just one day after the wife and mother of imprisoned former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav had met him in Islamabad.

The confirmation is significant as the MEA had maintained silence on the talks between Indian NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Lt. Gen. Nasir Jannjua that were reported in the Pakistani and the Indian media last month. However, there are other dialogue mechanisms like at the DGMO level or between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers.

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He also appeared to borrow a leaf out of Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu's book with a play of words, saying: "We have said that "terror and talks" cannot go together but "talks on terror" can definitely go ahead".

The Spokesperson said that the NSA-level metings were part of an "operational-level dialogue" similar to the talks that are held between the DGMOs of both sides and between the border forces of two countries.

Kumar also stated that these operational-level mechanisms do take place. Janjua is believed to have raised the issue of unrest in Kashmir, besides alleged targeting of civilians in villages along the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Another problem addressed was the recent release in Pakistan of Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of the terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, causing over 160 deaths.

The meeting is learnt to have taken place in Bangkok on December 26. That was followed, within days, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise stopover in Lahore, to wish Sharif on his birthday on December 25.



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