Talks On Terror Can Go On, Not Terror And Talks

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar

A senior Pakistan's national security division official had last week said that "the meeting was good and that Doval's tone and tenor was friendly and positive". The spokesperson, however, made it clear that this should not be construed as dilution of India's position that talks and terror can not go together.

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.

"I am agreeing that talks took place and our issue was eliminating terrorism from the region, we of course raised the issue of cross-border terrorism in those talks", Kumar said. 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.




Kumar also sought to draw a distinction between the composite dialogue process and operational mechanisms. New Delhi had claimed that the two women were mistreated by Pakistani officials during the meeting.

Despite its position that there can not be any substantive dialogue with Pakistan until Islamabad acts against India-specific terror groups, the government has continued to maintain contact through its mission in Islamabad and also the Pakistan mission here. 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).

On December 31 the newspaper The Indian Express revealed the meeting between Doval and Janjua. 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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