Pak foreign secy to visit Delhi, bilateral talks set to be revived

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 26, 2016 01:24 IST
File photo of India’s foreign secretary Subrahmanyan Jaishankar (L) holding talks with Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry at the foreign ministry in Islamabad. (AFP Photo)

Pakistan foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry will make a day-long visit to New Delhi on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Heart of Asia grouping, setting up an opportunity for talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.

Chaudhry will travel to the Indian capital on Tuesday morning and return home the same day, sources in the Pakistan high commission said.

Jaishankar and Chaudhry are expected to meet before the Heart of Asia conference begins at Hyderabad House in the afternoon.

Without naming India, a statement issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad said the Pakistani delegation will “hold bilateral meetings with other leading delegations attending” the Heart of Asia meet.

“The two foreign secretaries will discuss bilateral issues. The Pathankot investigation will come up for discussion and they will also talk about the proposed dialogue process and how to move ahead,” said an Indian government source.

This will be the first high-level contact between the two countries since the January 2 terror attack on Pathankot airbase, which was blamed by India on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed.

A Pakistani Joint Investigation Team visited India this month to probe the attack that killed seven security personnel. Pakistan has dismissed media reports that the JIT found no evidence of JeM’s involvement in the attack and said its investigation is continuing.

Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit had created a flutter recently by saying the bilateral talks process was suspended but sources said there had been back channel contacts, especially at the level of the National Security Advisers.

A meeting between the foreign secretaries on the margins of the Heart of Asia meet will give India and Pakistan an opportunity to discuss how to take forward the comprehensive dialogue process announced when external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj visited Islamabad in December.

India will also raise the issue of a visit by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the Pathankot attack.

“We have almost completed our probe in India in connection with the Pathankot attack. We are now waiting for the green signal from the government to go to Pakistan to complete investigation there as well. Our preparation for the visit is complete,” said NIA chief Sharad Kumar.

Read | Why are India and Pak struggling to take bilateral talks forward?

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