India to focus on terror at Heart of Asia meet
In light of the recent attacks at Nagrota, officials said it is unlikely that India would participate in talks and would instead highlight the issues of cross-border terrorism at the Heart of Asia Conference. Indian officials clarified that it was meaningless to pursue dialogue when violence has not stopped. Analysts speculated that India may hold talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the conference.
India-Pakistan bilateral talks scheduled for January
The Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan are scheduled to meet on Jan 14- 15 in Islamabad. The dialogue process would revolve around 10 key issues, including terrorism, de-escalation of border tensions etc. Pakistan's advisor on Foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, cautioned both sides against holding 'unrealistic expectations' of the dialogue process, saying some issues are likely to progress soon, while others may take longer.
Pathankot Air Force base attacked
The Pathankot Air Force base was attacked by a group of six terrorists who entered posing as security personnel. The attack continued for three days resulting in the death of 7 Indian security personnel as well as of all six terrorists involved. Foreign Secretary talks scheduled for Jan 14-15 were called off after Pakistan based terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed was suspected for the attack.
Pathankot probe delays Foreign Secretary meet
Following allegations of the Jaish-e-Mohammed being behind the Pathankot attack, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the formation of a high-profile joint investigation team (JIT). The JIT consists of Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau, ISI, Military Intelligence, Federal Investigation Agency and Police. Indian officials have stated that the progress of Pakistan's probe will determine the future course of action on the Foreign Secretary level talks.
Pakistan makes arrests to make talks a reality
Pakistan announced that an unspecified number of people had been arrested in raids, in connection with the attacks on the Pathankot Air Force base. Pakistan's Dawn News also carried an interview with Punjab Province Law Minister Rana Sanaullah who stated that JeM Chief Maulana Masood Azhar was taken into 'protective custody'. He added that Masood would be arrested if charges against him are proven.
India, Pakistan defer Secretary level talks
New Delhi and Islamabad jointly agreed to defer the scheduled Foreign Secretary level talks. India also welcomed Pakistan's move to arrest JeM members, and agreed to a SIT from Pakistan visiting India to continue investigations. However, both countries said there was "no confirmation" of JeM Chief Massod Azhar's arrest. The secretary level talks would now be rescheduled on a "mutually acceptable" date.
Azhar in 'protective custody', ball in India's court
Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz said Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar has been under "protective custody" since January 14. He added that a few other operatives of the JeM were kept under protective custody and that some of the terror outfit's premises were also sealed. Aziz said the "ball is in India's court", as far as the Foreign Secretary-level talks are concerned.
Indo-Pak peace process suspended at present
In spite of repeatedly trying to schedule foreign secretary-level talks with India following the Pathankot attacks, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit announced today that the peace process was "suspended" for the time being. He explained that there were no talks scheduled between the two countries at present. "India is not ready as yet, but we can only solve issues through dialogue," Basit added.
India-Pakistan dialogue is still on: Pak FM spokesperson
The spokesperson for Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry Nafees Zakaria stated that the bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan is still on. This contradicts Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit's statement last week that said "at present the peace process is suspended." "Yes, dialogue is the best option," Mr Zakaria said in response to a question whether the door was still open for negotiations.
India, Pak FS meet: Kashmir, terror dominate agenda
Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan held their first bilateral meeting after the Pathankot attacks, on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference in Delhi. Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry emphasized that "Kashmir remains the core issue that requires a just solution in accordance with UNSC resolutions." There was no official comment from Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar after the discussions took place.
Pakistan offers India a bilateral non-testing arrangement of Nuclear Weapons
On 16th August, 2016, Pakistan extended to India a bilateral agreement for not conducting nuclear tests. According to Pakistan, complying to this will send positive signals to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the membership of which both countries have applied for. This offer was initially announced by the Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz on 12th August, 2016.
Sartaj Aziz may visit India to calm tensions
Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs said he may attend the Heart of Asia conference to be held in Amritsar in December. Aziz said that the meeting could also be used to defuse tensions between India and Pakistan; however, he refused to confirm his attendance. Aziz added that Heart of Asia is for Afghanistan and "Afghanistan is our priority."
Sartaj Aziz: Kashmir a must on bilateral talks agenda
Pakistan foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz said that dialogues with India would only be held if Kashmir is on the agenda. Aziz is set to attend the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar on 3rd and 4th December. Addressing the lower house of the Parliament, Aziz said that Pakistan will continue its "moral, political, and diplomatic support to Kashmiri's for their right to self-determination."