Pak-India talks not linked to Pathankot probe: Bambawale

Pak-India talks not linked to Pathankot probe: Bambawale
Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale

By Afzal Khan

Published: Mon 15 Feb 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Feb 2016, 8:23 AM

Foreign secretary level talks between Pakistan and India are not conditional to the Pathankot airbase attack probe, said the Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale on Monday.The Indian envoy also stated that Pakistan and India are in constant contact to hold foreign secretary level talks in the near future.
"I can not give any particular date for the secretary level talks, but foreign secretaries from both countries are in constant contact," explained the Indian envoy.After a series of high-level contacts starting with an ice-breaking meeting in Paris be-tween Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and climaxing with the latter's surprise trip to Lahore, Pakistan and India had agreed in December to resume the bilateral dialogue after a hiatus of two years because of tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary.
The resumed dialogue was named Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue and it was agreed that the foreign secretaries of the two countries would meet on January 15 to decide about the timetable and modalities of the process.With the attack on Pathankot air base, India lost seven security personnel in the strike and blamed the Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) for it. It linked the resumption of the foreign secretaries' meeting to action by Pakistan government against JeM.The Pathankot attack was claimed by Kashmiri separatist group United Jihad Council, an alliance of Kashmiri fighters.Indian Air Force's Pathankot airbase is a mere 50km from the Pakistan border, and is a major forward operational air-base of the IAF.

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