Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit attended a Diwali gathering hosted by Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar on Saturday.
US envoy Richard Verma, army chief Dalbir Singh, national security advisor Ajit Doval and former NSA Shivshankar Menon, among others, were present at the event.
Ties between India and Pakistan have hit a low in the aftermath of an attack on an army base in northern Kashmir’s Uri that killed 19 soldiers in September. New Delhi blamed the brazen assault on Pakistan-based militants, a charge Islamabad promptly denied.
The Indian Army also said it carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on militant bases across the Line of Control, the de-facto border with Pakistan, in response to the Uri attack. Since then, repeated ceasefire violations at the border and civilian deaths on both sides have added to the tension.
India recently accused a Pakistan high commission staffer of spying, and in a tit-for-tat move a media leak in Pakistan accused eight officials of the Indian mission of being involved in “subversive activities”.
Almost all engagements between the neighbours have been put on hold amid reports that the two countries will scale down diplomatic presence in each other’s capitals, though Pakistan has confirmed it will attend a conference in Amritsar in December.