India has never said no to a dialogue with Pakistan but it will be about stopping terrorism rather than on Jammu and Kashmir, a top official in the government told The Indian Express today amid reports from Islamabad that “contact has been established” between the National Security Advisors of both India and Pakistan.
According to a Press Trust of India report, India’s NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Janjua spoke over the phone — the first such chat after the Uri attack and the surgical strikes — and discussed ways to reduce tension, said Sartaj Aziz, Advisor on Foreign Affairs to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
When asked about the phone call, the top official neither confirmed nor denied these reports.
The political and security establishment here are waiting to see how Pakistan responds to the strikes which, according to New Delhi, inflicted heavy casualties on Pakistan. Islamabad denies the strikes, saying it was a case of cross-border firing.
Sources said that going public with the strikes has given New Delhi new — and more — room to manoeuvre in its interaction with Islamabad. It has also somewhat levelled the playing field, the official said, because Pakistan has been told that “every Uri will see some kind of a reaction along the border”.
That’s why India is unlikely to scale down, any time soon, its “talk-only-terror” stand.
When asked if India would respond positively to Pakistan if it offers to have peace talks, the top official responded by pointing to a TV screen which was showing last night’s attack in Baramulla saying: “Is this their offer of peace talks?”
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