India-Pak talks put off by mutual agreement

14 January 2016

Talks between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan will not take place on Friday as scheduled, but both sides are working out new dates "in the near future," ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said today.

"The good thing is that both sides have mutually agreed to postpone the talks," he added.

Welcoming the detention of individuals linked to terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed which is behind the attack on the Pathankot Air Force base, as announced in a press release by the Pakistani government on Wednesday, India said the talks needed to be put off to move out of the shadow of Pathankot.

India says it wants comprehensive and credible action on Pathankot but refuses to link the talks to action against Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar. This comes hours after the government said it could not confirm that Masood Azhar had been detained, as widely reported by Pakistani media yesterday.

 India has also said it will allow a special investigation team set up by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to come to India for their probe into the Pathankot attack. It is not yet clear if they will be allowed into the Pathankot air base since the team comprises military and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) officials.

The foreign ministry spokesman said, "We also note that the government of Pakistan is considering to send a special investigation team to investigate the Pathankot terror attack. We look forward to the visit of the Pakistani SIT and our investigative agencies will extend all necessary cooperation to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice."

As new dates for talks are worked out, the two National Security Advisers are talking regularly - they spoke today as well and it is clear both countries want to keep the dialogue alive.

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