‘Breakthrough eluded Delhi talks’

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said that there was no breakthrough in talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar on his recent trip to New Delhi but  the meeting remained confined largely remained confined to each other’s ‘concerns’.

“I wouldn’t call it a ‘breakthrough’ but we conveyed our concerns quite openly … we presented our own concerns and they raised their own issues,” Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said at a media briefing here on Wednesday.

“Pakistan is ready for dialogue, whenever India agrees to it,” Chaudhry said.

The foreign secretary, who was in Delhi on Tuesday to attend the Heart of Asia-Istanbul process Senior Officials’ meeting, held talks with his Indian counterpart on bilateral issues, including resumption of the peace dialogue.

It was expected that the talks might lead to progress towards the start of the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue which was agreed by the two countries in December last year.

He said he had stressed the need for a “structured, sustained and result-oriented comprehensive dialogue process”, resolving the Kashmir dispute and conducting a fair trial in the 2007 Samjhauta Express attack case.

He also expressed concern over the involvement of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, in subversive activities in Pakistan and said “such acts undermine efforts for normalisation”.

He said the Indian foreign secretary did not indicate any date for his visit to Pakistan for discussing a timetable of the comprehensive dialogue.

The two secretaries were to meet in mid-January in Islamabad, but the sitting had to be postponed because of the Pathankot attack. The two countries have not so far been able to reschedule the meeting.

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