India, Pakistan Foreign Secy talks likely in January

The understanding reached between Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary when they spoke on Thursday afternoon.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: January 16, 2016 11:35 am
File Photo: Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyan Jaishankar, left, poses for photographers, as he shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Chaudhry at the foreign ministry in Islamabad. (Source: AP) File Photo: Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyan Jaishankar, left, poses for photographers, as he shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Chaudhry at the foreign ministry in Islamabad. (Source: AP)

A DAY after India and Pakistan agreed to reschedule the Foreign Secretary-level talks and hold them in the “very near future”, sources told The Indian Express that the talks are likely to take place in January itself.

“There is no point in delaying the talks indefinitely as that will be counter-productive,” said a source on Friday.

That was the understanding reached between Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary when they spoke on Thursday afternoon. Chaudhary, sources said, was “not surprised” when Jaishankar suggested that the meeting be delayed, and he agreed to the change.

Watch video India, Pak Foreign Secretary Talks Likely To Be Held In Jan

Pakistan government sources said Chaudhary is busy with the Quadrilateral Coordination Group meeting on Afghanistan, which includes China and the US, till January 18. “A date after January 20 will be suitable,” said a source in Islamabad.

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The telephone conversation between Jaishankar and Chaudhary took place shortly after National Security Advisor Ajit K Doval returned from Paris at about 11 am on Thursday and briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his “assessment” of the action taken by the Pakistan government. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Jaishankar joined the meeting, where they discussed the options ahead.

“Since Doval and Pakistan’s NSA Nasser Khan Janjua were in touch over the last two weeks, he had a clear idea of the action being taken on the ground,” said the source.

“PM’s message to Doval and Jaishankar was clear: trust but verify. That was the underlying message under which they were working,” said sources.

Officials stressed that much will depend on the action taken by Pakistan in the coming days and whether Delhi will be convinced. Sources said that India has sought copies of FIRs and sections or laws under which the Jaish-e-Muhammad members have been apprehended.

“Pakistan has been asked to provide documentary and supporting evidence, including their photos in custody, to substantiate their statements and claims of action,” the source said. Without concrete cases against the individuals linked to the terrorist attack in Pathankot, it will be difficult for the government to send the Foreign Secretary to Islamabad.

Sources said the meeting between the Foreign Secretaries will not be linked to the visit of Pakistan’s Special Investigation Team. “It has been decided that the two things will be kept separate, and will not influence each other,” the sources said.

Analysis: India-Pak Foreign Secretary Level Talks Deferred

A section of the top brass feels that the Foreign Secretary-level talks should not be announced before it takes place. “The template being considered is the manner in which the NSAs met in Bangkok, without any prior information or announcement. That meeting was held without any pressure or external influences of public opinion, and is considered to be a successful model for future interaction,” said these sources.

Even if the two sides decide to announce the dates for the meeting, it will be at very short notice, maybe a couple of days, sources said. “The important thing is to have the meeting, which is the first step towards restarting the dialogue process. Unless that happens, the officials cannot start ministerial meetings and subject-specific discussions,” sources said.

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  1. A
    Jan 16, 2016 at 1:48 am
    The work of photograph: exellent. The preparatory work of the reporters: exellent. The subject matter of the questions {which exact event happened, due to which reasons} is absent. The are no limits for the creativity of the tallented typical Indians!
    1. K
      Jan 15, 2016 at 11:51 pm
      This Mallu has not achieved anything noticeable (other than living for his job as all Mallus do starting at age 2, until they turn 82).
      1. J
        Jagdish Saigal
        Jan 16, 2016 at 12:19 am
        Proactive foreign policy in promoting good relations with Pak. should be supported by all parties.
        1. J
          Jack T
          Jan 16, 2016 at 3:14 am
          More talk no action!
          1. L
            Jan 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm
            I think the talks should be to just to stop this terrorist non sense. We don't have to go and hug them or make them friends but at the same time make sure that they are not playing double game with us as they usually do with every other country. We should be open to covert action to destroy their infrastructure if push comes to shove.
            1. D
              Devisahai Meena
              Jan 16, 2016 at 1:30 am
              Why FS , NSA level talks . We urge Executive heads of both of the countries (India and stan) should meet and resolve the issue .
              1. M
                Michael Varghese
                Jan 16, 2016 at 6:13 am
                Most of the talks were failed, firstly India should cover the Terrorist attack from PAN then only to continue the INDIO-PAK PEACE TALK to be held, and with close matter without give-up Our head State Jammu Kashmir
                1. D
                  Jan 16, 2016 at 3:57 am
                  There is more to this then meets the eye. Patriots be patient. Nice chess game by India.
                  1. R
                    Jan 16, 2016 at 9:35 am
                    Mutual hostility between Hindus and Muslims is the sine qua non of our survival as nation states. Let us be friendly but not too friendly! There is always the danger of the cry for Greater Punjab, Greater Bengal, and not to forget Dravidastan.
                    1. S
                      Sanjeev Singal
                      Jan 16, 2016 at 8:39 am
                      Though failed to prevent Pathankot Attack, Modi Govt has defeated Pak Jihadis' objective. Jihadis wanted to derail Indo-Pak talks. Modi Govt is firm on going ahead with talks.
                      1. P
                        Jan 16, 2016 at 2:18 pm
                        Greater Punjab? I hope that includes stani territories too! Not forgetting, greater Bengal will include Bangladesh and Dravidistan... well, not sure if they would appreciate this term - since they are opposed to the imposition of Hindi and even Sanskrit down there... I don't think you realise the ground realities of South Asian politics... at all...
                        1. P
                          Jan 16, 2016 at 2:07 am
                          More conspiracy theories... wow, what a new development. Yawn... the 'smart' one spots a pattern... yawn...
                          1. P
                            Jan 16, 2016 at 2:08 am
                            This is why the demise of this country to the West of India is inevitable, once the truth begins to hurt, a society's wounds are more deeper than imagined. If your people just cannot even accept a truth, however wrong it is, your end is near. In time, this place is finished - not sure one should be happy or simply sad at this state of a fellow human being's existence. End is near, give it another 20 years...
                            1. B
                              Baldev Sinh
                              Jan 16, 2016 at 2:24 am
                              Talk and also guard against future pak terror attacks
                              1. I
                                Jan 16, 2016 at 4:14 am
                                All INDIAN PMs from Mr NEHRU to Mr Manmohan Singh tried desperately to leave their "PERMANENT FOOT PRINTS in the HISTORY" to bring INDO-PAK PEACE and failed. ......... Now its the turn of Mr MODI to try and FAIL.
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