Foreign Secretaries meet:Aizaz raises Kashmir, Jaishankar wants action on Pathankot

Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistanheld bilateral talks focusing on a range of sticky issues including Pathankot terror attack probe, the first such formal meeting between the two top diplomats after talks were deferred in January following the strike by Pakistani terrorists.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar has asked  Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry to act  against terrorists responsible for the audacious attack on the Pathankot  IAF  base  which is essential for taking forward the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) which has been stagnant after the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase in January that India said was carried out by militants from Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terror group.

Foreign Secretary “emphasised that Kashmir remains the core issue that requires a just solution in accordance with UNSC resolutions and wishes of Kashmiri people.”

There was no immediate formal word from the Indian side on the meeting.

Both the sides agreed on resumption of the bilateral dialogue, naming it Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

Pakistan wants to resolve all outstanding issues with India, including Kashmir, through talks, foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said .

The (Pakistani) Foreign Secretary emphasized that Kashmir remains a core issue that requires a just solution, in accordance with UNSC resolutions and wishes of Kashmiris,” the High Commission stated.

This is the  first such formal meeting between the two top diplomats after talks were deferred in January following the strike by Pakistani terrorists.Efforts were to take forward Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD), launched last year in December.

“Another important bilateral for Foreign Secretary as he meets with his Pakistan counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry,” tweeted External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

Ahead of the meeting, the Indian officials had maintained that Pathankot attack and a possible visit by the NIA to Pakistan will be raised during the FS-level talks, which were deferred in January in the wake of the strike at the strategic air base at Pathankot.

“In line with our PM’s vision of peaceful neighborhood, FS underscored Pakistan’s commitment to have friendly relations with all its neighbors/India. All outstanding issues including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute were discussed,” the Pakistan High Commission here said.

The Pakistan Foreign Secretary is here on a day-long visit to attend the ‘Senior Officials Meeting of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process’.

This is also the first formal meeting between Jaishankar and Chaudhry after the announcement of CBD by the Foreign Ministers in Islamabad last December. The two secretaries had a informal brief interaction during a SAARC meeting in Nepal in March this year.

India-Pakistan Foreign Secretary-level that were due on January 15  hit a deadlock after the terrorist attack  as both the countries had announced deferment of the talks with “mutual consent” in the wake of the Pathankot attack.

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