Indo-Pak FS talks in Delhi next month to chart dialogue path
Islamabad : The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet next month in Delhi to work out the details of the newly-announced Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue after the two countries decided to re-engage.
Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, while making a statement in Parliament, said the Secretaries will decide on the modalities and schedule of the comprehensive dialogue the two countries have decided to engage in.
Sources said the meeting will take place in Delhi. Aziz briefed the Parliament about the recently held ‘Heart of Asia’ conference and his meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during which it was decided that the two countries would engage in a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.
Aziz said all issues, including Kashmir, would be part of the peace talks under the agreed formula for the fresh re-engagement with India.
“It was decided that the two Foreign Secretaries will meet next month to work out the details of the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue and the level of interaction in various Working Groups,” Aziz said.
“This dialogue includes all the subjects of the Composite Dialogue, with some additions,” he told the Parliament, a day after lawmakers demanded that the government apprise them under what conditions the talks with India will be held.
Aziz said it was also decided that terrorism would be discussed by the two National Security Advisers as part of this Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.
“We had emphasised that Pakistan is a victim of terrorism. We have lost tens of thousands of lives in the fight against terrorism. Zarb-e-Azb is the largest counter-terrorism operation of its kind and is being internationally acknowledged and appreciated,” he said.
Aziz lauded the vision of Prime Ministers of the two countries — Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi — for starting of talks after their meeting in Paris on November 30 paved way for the meeting of the two National Security Advisers in Bangkok on December 6.
“Both the delegations were guided by the vision of the two leaders for a peaceful, stable and prosperous South Asia,” he said.
Aziz said it was decided in the meeting with Swaraj to continue the constructive engagement between Pakistan and India.
He said as announced in the joint statement, the two sides agreed to a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue to discuss security, Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Baragge/Tulbul Navigation Project, Economic and Commercial Cooperation, Counter- Terrorism, Narcotics Control, Humanitarian Issues, People-to-People exchanges and religious tourism.
Earlier, the lawmakers had criticised the government for agreeing on a joint statement which they said “favoured” India.