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MEA confirms Indo-Pak NSA talks; says cross-border terrorism on agenda

Raveesh Kumar says there are ways to ensure the elimination of terrorism from the region

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Ajit Doval, BRICS
Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval

Over a fortnight after their meeting, the on Thursday confirmed that Security Advisor held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Lt Gen (retd) in Thailand, noting that "talks on terror" can definitely go ahead.

Raveesh Kumar, the spoksperson of the Ministry of External Afairs, told reporters that the focus of the "operational-level talks" was "cross-border terror" and ways to ensure the elimination of from the region.

He said has been maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together, but talks on terror can definitely go ahead.

"and have a dialogue process and we have said terror and talks cannot go togther. Besides that, there are several other dialogue mechanisms between and Talks take place at the DGMO level. There have been meetings between the BSF and Rangers as part of a regular mechanism

"Similarly, the NSA-level engagement is part of the operational-level talks. We have said that terror and talks cannot go together, but talks on terror can definitely go ahead," Kumar said.

He said the issue of cross-border was raised in the meeting.

Asked whether Doval raised the issue of humiliation of the family of as the talks between the two NSAs took place a day after the meeting between the Indian death row prisoner and his family in on January 25, the MEA said the focus of the engagement was on containing cross-border

"Some of these meetings are pre-determined. Dates are decided well in advance. It is not to do with anything which is happening at that point of time," Kumar said.

On December 31, a newspaper had reported that the two NSAs met in on December 26. A day later, a Pakistani daily, quoting an unnamed Pakistani official, also reported about the meeting.

On whether the NSAs will meet again, Kumar said the information will be shared as and when such operational meetings take place.

Jadhav's mother and wife had met him in on December 25.

It was not the first meeting between the two NSAs in a third country.

In December 2015 also, the two NSAs, along with the two foreign secretaries, had met in Bangkok, which was not revealed by both the countries till after the meeting.

The Jadhav-family meeting became the latest flashpoint in already strained Indo-Pak relations, with terming its decision to allow Jadhav's family to travel to to meet him as a humanitarian gesture and accusing it of violating mutual understandings.

The Pakistani authorities had forced both the women to remove their mangalsutra, bindi, bangles and footwear, and even made to change their attire on the pretext of security.

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 02:25 IST