India, Pakistan foreign secretaries to meet in Delhi

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry will hold talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar here on Tuesday, on the margins a global conference on Afghanistan. It will be the first meeting between the two after the January Pathankot terror attack derailed the India-Pakistan bilateral dialogue.

A Pakistan High Commission spokesperson here confirmed Chaudhry’s day-long trip for the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process meeting.

The Pakistan delegation will “also hold bilateral meetings with other leading delegations attending the meeting”.

While the spokesperson was silent about talks between Chaudhry and Jaishankar, an informed source told IANS that the the two foreign secretaries were likely to meet.

Chaudhry “will have bilateral meetings with other delegations, including Jaishankar”, the source said.

The meeting will be the first contact between the two countries at the foreign secretary level after the January 2 attack on the IAF base at Pathankot killed seven Indian security personnel. India blamed Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) for the attack.

The meeting comes after the two sides recently declared that they were in contact to hold a meeting of their foreign secretaries, who will draw up the modalities for holding a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

The development comes after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit created a flutter when he said here that the peace talks between Islamabad and New Delhi have been “suspended”.

The Afghanistan conference in Delhi follows the 5th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Islamabad on December 9, 2015.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had visited Islamabad to attend the conference that adopted the Islamabad declaration for enhanced regional cooperation to countering security threats.



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