The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday confirmed that the National Security Advisors (NSAs) of both India and Pakistan met in Thailand’s capital Bangkok on December 26, reported PTI. The Indian Express had first reported about the meeting between the two countries’ NSAs in Bangkok on December 26 last year.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the focus of talks between India and Pakistan was on cross-border terror in the December 26 meeting. He also added: “Talks and terror cannot go together but talks on terror can go ahead. I am agreeing that talks took place & our issue was eliminating terrorism from the region, we, of course, raised the issue of cross-border terrorism in those talks.”
A day after the mother and wife of retired Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav met him in Islamabad, the NSAs of India and Pakistan met for talks in Bangkok. Sources had told The Indian Express that the December 26 meeting between Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Lt General Nasir Khan Janjua (retd) took place at a ‘neutral venue’ in the Thai capital.
The venue and date of the meeting were not linked to Pakistan’s treatment of Jadhav’s wife and mother. It had been decided between the two sides in December, and it was, as sources described it, a “pre-scheduled meeting”.
Besides the offices of the NSA, sources indicated that the top hierarchy of the foreign ministries of the two countries was also in the loop about the meeting. As Pakistan’s NSA is a retired Lt General, Rawalpindi-based General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army was also kept informed of Tuesday’s meeting between the two NSAs.