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India, Pak NSAs talked ‘cross border terror’

 NEW DELHI, Jan 11 - Over a fortnight after their meeting, the government today confirmed that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held talks with his Pakistani counterpart Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua (retd) in Thailand, noting that “talks on terror” can definitely go ahead.

Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters that the focus of the “operational-level talks” was “cross-border terror” and ways to ensure the elimination of terrorism from the region.

He said India has been maintaining that terror and talks cannot go together, but talks on terror can definitely go ahead.

“India and Pakistan have a dialogue process and we have said terror and talks cannot go together. Besides that, there are several other dialogue mechanisms between India and Pakistan. Talks take place at the DGMO level. There have been meetings between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers as part of a regular mechanism

“Similarly, the NSA-level engagement is part of the operational-level talks. We have said that terror and talks cannot go together, but talks on terror can definitely go ahead,” Kumar said. He said the issue of cross-border terrorism was raised in the meeting.

Asked whether Doval raised the issue of humiliation of the family of Kulbhushan Jadhav as the talks between the two NSAs took place a day after the meeting between the Indian death row prisoner and his family in Islamabad on January 25, the MEA spokesperson said the focus of the engagement was on containing cross-border terrorism. “Some of these meetings are predetermined. Dates are decided well in advance. It is not to do with anything which is happening at that point of time,” Kumar said.

On December 31, a newspaper had reported that the two NSAs met in Thailand on December 26. A day later, a Pakistani daily, quoting an unnamed Pakistani official, also reported about the meeting. – PTI

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