NEW DELHI: India’s foreign secretary S Jaishankar flatly told Pakistan on Tuesday that it can’t be in denial about terrorism and terrorist groups in Pakistan targeting India.
He also said Pakistan can’t be in denial about the impact of terrorism on relations between the two countries.
“Terrorist groups based in Pakistan targeting India must not be allowed to operate with impunity,” Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar also told Pakistan’s foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in a 90-minute meeting that India wants early and visible progress in the Pathankot terror attack investigation.
The two met on the sidelines of the annual Heart of Asia conference.
Pakistan didn’t mention the Pathankot terror attack once, but Chaudhry managed to tell India about his concern over Indian intelligence agency RAW’s alleged involvement in Balochistan and also about Kashmir remaining the core issue for his country, according to a Pakistan High Commission statement.
The Pakistan High Commission’s statement was released even as the two officials were meeting and before the meeting ended.
Chaudhry also expressed concern about RAW’s alleged involvement in ”subversive activities” in Karachi and the matter of the capture of alleged RAW officer, Kulbushan Jadev, the Pakistan High Commission’s statement said. He reportedly said such involvement undermines efforts to normalize relations between the two countries.
Sources told that Jaishankar told Chaudhry that no spy agency will put their agent in the field with their own passport and without a visa
Even as Chaudhry underscored his country’s commitment to friendly ties with India, he reportedly insisted in the meeting that Kashmir required “a just solution in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Pakistan has sought to provide fresh thrust to the J&K issue in the recent past and it was made obvious further with the manner in which Islamabad declared that Kashmir was its main topic of discussion even before the meeting between the foreign secretaries was over.
“The meeting provided a useful opportunity to exchange views on recent developments in a bilateral context,” Chaudhry said. India is expected to react shortly to what transpired in the meeting
Pakistan had been keen on a meeting between the two top diplomats to ensure that its Kashmir agenda did not appear as diluted, as India continued to underline the significance of terrorism in bilateral ties. It is well known that Pakistan army had not taken kindly to the meeting last year in Ufa between PM Narendra Modi and his counterpart Nawaz Sharif because of Sharif’s alleged failure to mention Kashmir upfront. The joint statement after that meeting had no specific mention of J&K, which was said to have upset Pakistan’s army chief Raheel Sharif.
“Another important bilateral (meeting) for Foreign Secretary as he meets with his Pakistan counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
Foreign Secretary Chaudhary was earlier received by Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit upon his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here Tuesday morning.
Before meeting Chaudhary, Jaishankar met Afghanistan’s Deputy Finance Minister Hekmat Karzai.
“Beginning with the bilaterals. Before Heart of Asia Meeting, FS meets Afghan Dy FM Hekmat Karzai for first meeting,” Swarup tweeted.
The Foreign Ministers of both nations met in November last year during the SAARC summit in Nepal. The talks between the two sides suffered a setback after the terror attack on Pathankot’s air base.