India gets tough, says talks and terror don't go together

India gets tough, says talks and terror don't go together

Talks were held on how to rid this region of the scourge of terrorism, how to ensure that terrorism doesn't affect this region.

This was the response of Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on a recent "secret" meeting between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasser Khan Janjua in Bangkok. He maintained that the real issue discussed was "cross border terrorism" from Pakistan that targets India. This will take the wind out of Pakistan's attempts to blame India on global platforms for avoiding talks to de-escalate border tension.

The Spokesperson said that the NSA-level metings were part of an "operational-level dialogue" similar to the talks that are held between the DGMOs of both sides and between the border forces of two countries.

Kumar reaffirmed India's stand that terror and talks can not go together.

"India and Pakistan have a dialogue process and we have said terror and talks can not go togther. We have said terror and talks cannot go together, but talks on terror can definitely go ahead", Kumar said. According to the Pakistani official, the meeting came a day after Indian death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav met with his family on December 25 in Islamabad.

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India on Thursday broke its radio silence on last month's NSA-level talks with Pakistan in Thailand but said this use of an "operational mechanism" for contact didn't in any way dilute New Delhi's stated position that "talks and terror" can't go together. Raveesh made it clear that the meeting date of the NSAs was pre-decided.

"India and Pakistan had a dialogue process".

In fact, the two NSAs spoke shortly after the Pathankot attack in January 2016.

The composite dialogue process has been stalled since August 2014 when India called off foreign secretary-level talks. There have been occasional telephonic engagements after that.

The confirmation of the NSA-level engagement comes nearly two weeks after news reports said the two NSAs had met in Thailand. CBD was launched by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her visit to Islamabad on 9 December 2015.

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