There are established channels of communication between India, Pakistan: Govt | Hindustan Times
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There are established channels of communication between India, Pakistan: Govt

MoS VK Singh said it has been made clear that the government is committed to working towards normalising relations with Pakistan.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2018 23:01 IST
MoS external affairs Gen (retd) VK Singh during an event in New Delhi.
MoS external affairs Gen (retd) VK Singh during an event in New Delhi.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT File Photo)

There are established channels of communications between India and Pakistan at various levels, including at the level of National Security Advisors (NSAs) to discuss operational issues such as cross-border terrorist infiltration and border management, the Lok Sabha was told on Wednesday.

In this context, the NSAs met in Bangkok in December 2017, minister of state for external affairs VK Singh said while replying to a question.

“At these meetings, the Indian side has strongly taken up the core issue of cross-border terrorism fomented by Pakistan. Strong concerns have been shared and protests registered at the incidents of unprovoked cross-border firings and support to cross-border terrorist infiltration from Pakistan,” he said.

The minister said it has been made clear that the government is committed to working towards normal relations with Pakistan and addressing all outstanding issues bilaterally and peacefully in accordance with Simla Agreement and Lahore declaration.

“However, any meaningful dialogue can be held only in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence. Onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere. Till then, India will continue to take firm and decisive steps to respond to cross-border terrorism,” he said.

Replying to a separate question, Singh said as per available information, presently 341 Indian fishermen are believed to be in Pakistan’s custody.

However, Pakistan has only acknowledged the custody of 253 Indian fishermen so far, he said.