New Delhi, Jan 11 2018 : India and Pakistan can talk on cross-border terrorism, even though the two neighbours are not in a position to restore the structured dialogue as yet, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
"We have said terror and talks can’t go together, but talks on terror can definitely go ahead," Raveesh Kumar, the External affairs ministry spokesperson, said, after confirming a meeting between the National Security Advisors of the two countries last month.
This is the first official confirmation of the behind-the-scenes meeting between NSAs Ajit Doval and retired Lt General Nasir Khan Janjua in Bangkok on December 26. The meeting took place a day after death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadav met his mother and wife in Islamabad.
"The NSA talk had happened. They spoke on how to eliminate the scourge of cross-border terrorism. It was a pre-determined meeting, dates of which were decided in advance," Kumar said, refusing to answer whether the Jadav incident was discussed between the two NSAs in the second meeting since 2015.
He said the NSA talks was also like the existing operational dialogues like what exists between the Director General of Military Operations of the two armies or between the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers. "I am agreeing that talks took place and our issue was eliminating terrorism from the region. We, of course, raised the issue of cross-border terrorism in those (NSA) talks," Kumar said.
The comprehensive dialogue between the two neighbours remains suspended since the January 2013 beheading of an Indian soldier close to the disputed boundary in Jammu and Kashmir. A subsequent effort to resume the dialogue also failed following a terror attack on Pathankot Air Force base in January 2016.