NSAs to meet on August 23

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz (in picture) said the decision was taken after consultations.  

Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz will visit India for talks with his counterpart, Ajit Doval, on August 23, he confirmed at a press conference in Islamabad.

“Although the talks are not the revival of the composite dialogue, the meeting would be ‘ice-breaking’ as we will hold discussions on important issues,” Mr. Aziz said.

Uncertainty prevailed for some weeks over the holding of the talks, which were decided by Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif >during their meeting in Ufa in July, as Pakistan had not responded to the dates suggested by India more than two weeks ago.

Islamabad is yet to convey its confirmation through official channels.

“We have no confirmation on NSA talks,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Thursday.

The delay over confirmation of the date is, however, the least of the tensions growing between New Delhi and Islamabad since the PMs’ meeting in Ufa. Firing at the LoC has been nearly incessant in the past month, with both India and Pakistan accusing each other of more than 50 >ceasefire violations on each side.

The NSAs are expected to discuss a format for DGMO talks that would include Foreign Ministry officials, sources told The Hindu. The two sides entered into a war of words after Pakistan denied an invitation for the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker to a Commonwealth Parliamentary conference, saying the State was “disputed territory”. In protest, India decided to boycott the conference, with several other countries supporting its stand.

The focus of the talks, as mandated by the PMs will be on terror. On Thursday, as part of the government’s preparations, Ajit Doval met Home Secretary L.C. Goyal, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, Defence Secretary G. Mohan Kumar and top security officials, a senior official said.

India is preparing full dossiers with evidence collected from the attacks in >Gurdaspur and >Udhampur to hand over to Mr. Aziz. The files will prove that the Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terror groups operating in Pakistan carried out the attacks. In particular, India will present evidence gleaned from the testimony of Mohammed Naved Yakub, the Pakistani militant caught alive after the >Udhampur ambush in which 2 BSF jawans were killed.

Sources said they have built a “water-tight” case regarding the Gurdaspur attack to show that the militants who killed seven people in Punjab also came from Pakistan.

MHA sources said India will raise the issue of fugitives like underworld don Dawood Ibrahim who is believed to be in Pakistan; the inflow of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) from Pakistan into India; and the lack of progress in the >trial against Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and others in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Mr. Aziz will be under some pressure over criticism that the Ufa statement made no reference to Jammu and Kashmir, and officials expect that he will raise the resolution of the Kashmir dispute during the talks. “While we are clear that the NSA talks will be about terror emanating from Pakistan only, we fully expect Pakistan’s NSA will want to discuss everything else,” a senior official told The Hindu.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 4:48:09 PM |

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