India confirms NSAs met in Bangkok

Posted January 13, 2018

At the political level, India has maintained that there can not be Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue with Pakistan, after the Pathankot airbase terror attack.

India on Thursday broke its radio silence on last month's NSA-level talks with Pakistan in Thailand but said this use of an "operational mechanism" for contact didn't in any way dilute New Delhi's stated position that "talks and terror" can't go together.

"I am agreeing that talks took place and our issue was eliminating terrorism" terrorism from the region, we of course raised the issue of cross-border terrorism" terrorism in those talks", Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, in a media briefing.

The meeting also took place just one day after the wife and mother of imprisoned former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav had met him in Islamabad. MEA also confirmed an earlier report of a "secret meeting" between the NSAs of the two countries.

"Similarly, the NSA-level engagement is part of operational-level talks".

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He also appeared to borrow a leaf out of Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu's book with a play of words, saying: "We have said that "terror and talks" cannot go together but "talks on terror" can definitely go ahead".

On whether the NSAs would meet again, Kumar said the information would be shared as and when such operational meetings take place. "Doval's tone and tenor was friendly and positive", the report quoted a Pakistani official who had been briefed about the meeting.

During the meeting, Janjua reported raised the issue of targeting of civilians along the Line of Control while Doval spoke of infiltration.

On December 31 the newspaper The Indian Express revealed the meeting between Doval and Janjua.

Another problem addressed was the recent release in Pakistan of Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of the terrorist attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008, causing over 160 deaths.