Even as India and Pakistan are embroiled in a fresh war of words over the Gurdaspur terror attack, decks are being cleared for a meeting of the National Security Advisers in New Delhi on August 23 and 24.
According to sources, Pakistan is likely to accept the dates for the meeting proposed by India. The July 27 terror attack and the recent ceasefire violations had cast a shadow on the meeting, but sources in the government said the two sides were inclined to take forward the peace process, which includes the NSA-level talks, that were agreed at the meeting of the two Prime Ministers at Ufa in July.
This past week, New Delhi said it had proof that Pakistani nationals were involved in the Gurdaspur attack.
Pakistan retaliated on Friday, announcing it would raise the issue of the alleged involvement of India’s RAW in its territory at the United Nations.
NSAs likely to discuss Punjab terror attack
At their meeting scheduled in New Delhi for August 23 and 24, the National Security Advisers of India and Pakistan are expected to raise the issue of Punjab terror attack, bail for 26/11 mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and the Samjhauta blasts case, which Pakistan has been raising.
After the meeting of the two Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Ufa on July 10, both sides have tried to keep the engagements going, despite hiccups in relations, including the recent ceasefire violations along the border in Jammu and Kashmir.
The release of fishermen was part of the agreement in Ufa. In the past week, India has announced easing of visa norms for pilgrims from Pakistan, and a meeting between the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers, also stipulated at the Ufa agreement, has also been scheduled.
Earlier this month, India released 88 fishermen, though Pakistan protested that the 97 fishermen should have been released. Islamabad released 113 Indian fishermen lodged in the Karachi jail in June and in April this year.
On Wednesday, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh told the Lok Sabha that there were 92 vessels of Pakistani fishermen in Indian custody, and there had been no release of any Pakistani vessel, so far, in 2015.