Secret Indo-Pak NSA talks held in Bangkok
India and Pakistan held secret NSA level talks on 6 December in Bangkok discussing a range of issues focusing on peace, terrorism and J&K. The meeting was agreed upon when PM Modi and PM Sharif met at Paris last week. The move has riled up opposition parties India who see it as backtracking on the government's official stance on the issue.
PM, Narendra Modi and Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif met over a dinner held by Vladimir Putin, the Russian President. The bi-lateral talks between the two nations were held after a gap of a year at India's initiative when Modi called to greet Sharif for Ramzan. Modi voiced out about terror attacks which is said to have sown the seeds for NSA talks.
India proposed a meet for the National Security advisors of India-Pakistan on August 23-24 and it was announced that Pakistan was likely to accept the said dates. It was also announced that the NSA of India-Pakistan would discuss about the bail for 26/11 attacker Zakiur Rehman and other issues related to security. The Gurdaspur attack was also expected to be discussed in the meet.
The two terror attacks in Punjab and J&K which originated from Pakistan raised questions about the future of the NSA talks Union Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman however asserted that the NSA-level talks would take place by the end of August between Pakistan and India as planned earlier. This press statement was formally announced in a conference which was held in the BJP headquarters.
"I don't know what is going on in the mind of the Pakistan establishment. Certainly Government of India's position is very clear that NSA-level talks would continue," commented Nirmala Sitharaman about the talk.
Pakistan neither accepted nor rejected the proposal that India made for the NSA talks Pakistan earlier made an announcement to not invite the speaker of J&K for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference also triggered much frustration. 31 Indian Chapters of CPA India demanded that Pakistan had to forfeit the right to convene the conference and proposed to shift it to some other venue.
Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted that the "only struggle in Jammu and Kashmir" was "Pakistani-sponsored terrorism", in response to Pakistan's statement that Pakistan would "never abandon Kashmiris and their cause". This issue is also awaiting to be resolved.
Pakistan after much wavering finally agreed to hold the NSA-talks between the two nations and the dates were confirmed. India announced that the talks would be held on August 23-23 between NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz, the advisor of Foreign Affairs to the Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif confirmed his presence in India on August 23.
India and Pakistan announced that both the countries have prepared an agenda for the NSA-level talks. It was revealed that terror and related issues would be the key areas of focus. Issues related to 26/11 Mumbai attacks, recent Punjab terror attack and Dawood Ibrahim are likely to dominate the talks. Top officials and Indian NSA Ajit Doval, discussed and raised these agenda.
New Delhi formally expressed its objection over Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan's National Security Advisor's meeting on 23 August with the Hurriyat leaders right before the NSA-level talks. This decision of Pakistan has put the NSA-level talks in jeopardy. Moreover, both sides are yet to reach a consensus on the agenda for the talks with India wanting to discuss terrorism and Pakistan inclined on J&K issue.
Ignoring India's intimation, Pakistan said that the meeting with Hurriyat leaders "is on as per schedule and they will not let India dictate terms."