EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday held a meeting with a group of diplomats, mainly former foreign secretaries and envoys to Pakistan, to discuss the Pakistan strategy even as the operation to flush out terrorists from the IAF base in Pathankot entered the second day.
The terror attack has posed the first serious challenge to the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his surprise visit to Pakistan last month. The government has also come under domestic pressure with the opposition Congress asking it to exercise caution while engaging with Pakistan.
Swaraj met S K Lambah, G Parthasarathy, Shyam Saran, Shivshankar Menon, Satyabrata Paul, Sharad Sabharwal and TCA Raghavan among others against this backdrop. Sources said the meeting was scheduled earlier, but the attack gave it a new dimension.
The External Affairs Ministry did not divulge details of the meeting and termed it only as “diplomatic consultations on Pakistan strategy” but it is clear that the possible fallout of the Pathankot terror strike is weighing heavily on the government’s mind. The ministry would like to get a sense of the varied views of the experienced former diplomats as it formulates its position on continuing the engagement with Pakistan.
Foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan are set to meet in Islamabad on January 15.
Meanwhile, underlining that there is “visible improvement” in Indo-Pak ties, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs, said in Islamabad that the foreign secretaries of the two countries will draw a roadmap for the bilateral comprehensive dialogue for the next six months.
[With PTI Inputs]
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