New Delhi, Jan 11: India Thursday said National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met his Pakistani counterpart Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua (retd) last month in Thailand, noting that “talks on terror” can go ahead.
Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson 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 militancy from the region.
“India and Pakistan have a dialogue process and we have said terror and talks cannot go together. However, there are other dialogue mechanisms like at the DGMO level or between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers.
“Similarly, the NSA-level engagement is part of operational-level talks. We have said terror and talks cannot go together, but talks on terror can definitely go ahead,” Kumar said.
The meeting between the two NSAs took place in Thailand nearly three weeks ago. “Talks and terror cannot go together but talks on terror can go ahead,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
“I am agreeing that talks took place and our issue was eliminating militancy from the region. We of course raised the issue of cross-border militancy in those talks,” he said.
Bilateral talks between the nuclear-armed neighbours are on the back-burner, with tensions running high over territorial issues and militancy.
India accuses Pakistan-based groups of orchestrating several terror attacks on its soil, especially in the conflict-ridden Kashmir valley. Repeated ceasefire violations and casualties on both sides have added to the tension.
Ties hit another roadblock when New Delhi alleged that Pakistan disregarded cultural and religious sensibilities of family members of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was captured in March 2016 and has been sentenced to death by a military court.