Play on words over NSA talks

Play on words over NSA talks

"I think we raised the issue of cross-border terrorism in those talks", External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. The meeting between Pakistan's NSA retired Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua and Ajit Doval reportedly took place on December 27 in Thailand. "We have said terror and talks cannot go together, but talks on terror can definitely go ahead".

Responding to queries, Kumar sought to de-link the meeting between the NSAs from the stalled India-Pakistan dialogue process and said it was a part of operational level engagement between the two countries.

India has planned to intensify its pressure on Pakistan to take strong steps against terror financing during the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary organized in Paris, next month, reported The Economic Times quoting people familiar with the development.

He said the focus of the "operational-level talks" was "cross-border terror" and ways to ensure elimination of terrorism from the region. "Some of these meetings are pre-determined". The Government on Thursday said "though terror and talks cannot go together, talks on terror can definitely go on".

Bilateral talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours are on the back-burner, with tensions running high over territorial issues and terrorism.


The meeting was held a day after the mother and wife of death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav met him in Islamabad, but MEA maintained that the two NSAs did not discuss Mr Jadhav's case at all.

Asked if more such meetings between the NSAs were scheduled, Mr Kumar said "these operational-level mechanisms do take place... but we don't announce these meeting".

The two women were humiliated and harassed by Pakistani diplomats and the media.

In fact, the two NSAs spoke shortly after the Pathankot attack in January 2016. In December 2015, the two NSAs, along with the two foreign secretaries, had met, again in Bangkok, which was not revealed till after the meeting.

Modi also visited Pakistan in a surprise stopover on 25 December, 2015, on his way back from Russian Federation and Afghanistan.

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