India, Pakistan NSAs hold talks in Bangkok; discuss terrorism, Kashmir

National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan held talks in Bangkok on Sunday on a wide gamut of bilateral ties including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir.

India, Pakistan NSAs hold talks in Bangkok; discuss terrorism, Kashmir
Pic courtesy: @MEAIndia

New Delhi: Close on the heels of Prime Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif's meeting in Paris on the sidelines of Climate Summit, Indo-Pak NSAs met on Sunday in  Bangkok and discussed terrorism and Kashmir among other things.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Janjua also discussed peace and security and other issues including tranquility along the LoC.

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At the same time they agreed to take forward the 'constructive' engagement.

The two sides issued a joint press statement after the talks which is as following:

"Pursuant to the meetings of the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in Paris, the National Security Advisers, accompanied by the Foreign Secretaries, met in Bangkok today.

Discussions were held in a candid, cordial and constructive atmosphere.

They were guided by the vision of the two leaders for a peaceful stable and prosperous South Asia.

Discussions covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues, including tranquility along the LoC.

It was agreed to carry forward the constructive engagement."

The two sides reportedly met for four hours. Also present were foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan, S Jaishankar and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

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Also Read - Here's why India, Pakistan NSAs met in Bangkok for talks

The meeting between the two NSAs can be said to be a major breakthrough given that the talks had been canceled in September this year after agreeing to meet post PM Modi and Sharif meeting in July in Russian city of Ufa.

After Ufa, the two leaders were in United Sates at the same time during the UNGA but did not even exchange pleasantries.

However, Modi and Sharif held a brief chat on November 30 in Paris.

The choice of a neutral third country venue for the NSAs meeting may have been prompted by a desire to avoid a repeat of the events that led to the cancellation of a visit by the then NSA Sartaj Aziz to New Delhi for talks, as per PTI.

Pakistan had called-off the visit after New Delhi had made it clear that Aziz would not be allowed to meet Kashmiri separatist leaders in the Indian capital.

For the record, Indian sources said Bangkok had been chosen because of the "convenience" of both the sides. As Foreign Secretary was already in Tokyo in connection with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India and Pakistani side was also travelling, it was decided to meet in Bangkok due to the "convenience" of the two sides, sources said.

Welcoming the talks between the neighbouring nations, fomer J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that holding the dialogue away from media glare can lead to quiet progress.

He tweeted the following:

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI, "Substantive issues of the spirit of UFA statement (by PM Modi and Nawaz Sharif) are well reflected here."

And BJP national secretary Sidharth Nath Singh tweeted: "NSA talks is a continuation of Ufa joint statement and a welcome step. We all must keep in mind aggressive ISIS globally and Paris attack."

On the other hand, Congress' Tom Vadakkan said, "Its welcome development, if there is action in terms of peace and tranquility in the subcontinent. Both (India and Pakistan) needs to engage in a dialogue and monologue for local consumption must end."

India had called off the bilateral composite dialogue process after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. There has been lack of trust on both sides with repeated accusations of ceasefire violations along the LoC. 

India has time and again reiterated that it was ready for talks but for that Pakistan had to address the issue of cross-border terrorism.

(With Agency inputs)

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