Pak to defer foreign-secretary level talks, NSAs to meet now

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Nawaz Sharif File Photo
Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif File Photo

Pakistan on 14 January has said that the foreign secretary talks will take place only after the dialogue between India and Pakistan National Security Advisers (NSAs). This stand, it was reported, was taken by India as well.

Islamabad was in constant touch with New Delhi and has decided to defer foreign secretary-level talks, but said it was not aware of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar’s arrest, according to Pakistan news reports.

Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said the central government would take a decision soon on the foreign secretary-level talks based on facts and not mere speculations, in response to alleged arrest of Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

“I don’t think that diplomacy will be conducted on basis of what gets published. Only after prior confirmation, will the government take any decision. We need to appreciate the Union government will decide only in India’s interests,” said BJP leader Nalin Kohli said.

After India sought action by Pakistan on evidence or leads gathered in the Pathankot air base attack, the talks are now doubtful.

The JeM was held responsible for the attack on Pathankot airbase outside J&K in which seven security personnel were killed. Also, the JeM threatened to sabotage improving bilateral ties.
Since 13 January evening, Pakistani news reports spoke of arresting Azhar two days ago along with others. But Vikas Swaroop, foreign ministry spokesperson said, “India has not received any official confirmation to that extent.”