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Pak mars talks by publicly raising Kashmir issue

26 April 2016

Pakistan was today guilty of a breach of protocol during foreign secretary talks with India as it released a statement while the dialogue was still on. As a further irritant, Pakistan's statement was centred on Jammu and Kashmir, describing it as "a core issue that requires a just solution".

The meeting in Delhi between Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry is the first senior-level conversation between the countries after January's deadly terror attack at the Indian Air Force base in Pathankot by a group of terrorists from across the border.

 "Pakistan cannot be in denial on the issue of the impact of terrorism on bilateral ties," said a statement from India after today's conferral, reiterating that Delhi expects quick and strong punishment for top leaders of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed, including its chief Masood Azhar, who India says masterminded the Pathankot attack.

India wants to send a team to Pakistan to interrogate Azhar; however, Pakistani sources have said it's not even clear if the terrorist is still in the country.

 The attack - which killed seven military personnel resulted in the cancellation of talks between foreign secretaries that had been scheduled for January.

 Foreign Secretary Jaishankar also used today's meeting to rebut Pakistan's allegation that a former naval officer who was arrested in Balochistan was an agent of India's intelligence agency the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW).

Islamabad has said Kulbhushan Jadhav has confessed instigating the separatist movement in the volatile province of Balochistan. Jaishankar reportedly asked acerbically "Which spy agency would put their agent in the field with their own passport, and without a visa?" Jadhav, according to Pakistan, was found with a valid Indian passport issued in a fake name and with a visa for Iran.

Today's foreign secretary session comes on the sidelines of a regional summit in Delhi about Afghanistan.

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