Indian, Pakistani foreign secretaries to meet on Jan 15: Sartaj Aziz


The foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India will, after all, meet this month – despite the Pathankot Attack.

The two secretaries will meet on January 15 in Islamabad, Sartaj Aziz, advisor on foreign affairs, to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was quoted as saying, The Nation daily of Pakistan reported on Saturday.

Aziz said in the parliament on Friday that Kashmir and all other outstanding issues would be on the agenda when Pakistan and India resume their comprehensive bilateral dialogue.

The announcement came after Nawaz Sharif called up his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and “assured” him of “prompt” action, and after Pakistan launched investigations into the attack on the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab.

India had linked the foreign secretary level talks to Pakistan’s action against the militants.

Nawaz Sharif had on Thursday chaired a meeting regarding Jaish-e-Muhammad organisation’s involvement in the attack and Islamabad’s response to New Delhi.

After the Pathankot attack, Sharif had called Modi assuring him of “prompt and decisive” action against groups or individuals linked to the attack.

Seven security personnel were killed in the attack on the IAF base in Pathankot. Six terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan, were killed during the gunfight that began on January 2.

Pakistan and India will remain in contact as Islamabad believes it needed solid evidence for a stern action.

Aziz told Pakistani Parliament that the foreign secretaries of both the countries would discuss modalities of comprehensive bilateral dialogue and its timeframe during the meeting in Islamabad.

“As per the joint statement issued during the visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Pakistan, the comprehensive dialogue would include all outstanding issues including the Kashmir dispute,” he said.

It is, however, still not clear what is the current stand of the Indian government, after the Pathankot attack.